Of Salt and Shore by Annet Schaap, Trans. by Laura Watkinson (ARC Review)

Of Salt and Shore by Annet Schaap


Goodreads: Of Salt and Shore
Series: None
Source: ARC from Edelweiss
Published: October 13, 2020 by Charlesbridge (first published March 2017)


Every night, Lampie lights the lighthouse lantern for her father, who has trouble with the stairs due to a bad leg. One night, however, she forgets. The ship that foundered on the rocks will have to be paid for. And so Lampie is placed as a servant in the Black House, a mysterious mansion where a monster is said to live. But the monster is not what Lampie was expecting.

Star Divider


Of Salt and Shore is a haunting story that imagines what happens after the events of “The Little Mermaid.” Young Lampie, daughter to the lighthouse keeper, is sent to work at the Admiral’s house after one night when the lighthouse lamp is not lit and a ship founders upon the rocks. She fears the monster rumored to live within, but soon discovers that the monster is not what it seems. As she befriends the Admiral’s son and his servants, Lampie starts to bring life back to the house. But not everyone in town is as welcoming as Lampie, and their fear could ruin everything Lampie has worked to gain. Of Salt and Shore is a beautiful tale of processing loss, finding friendship, and creating hope. Lovers of fairy tales will be spellbound by its magic.

It is rare to find a novel based on a fairy tale that feels as enchanting as the original. Annet Schaap, however, has created a story that possesses that ineffable something— that hint of the supernatural, that haunting taste of bittersweet, that feeling that things will never be fully explained and never should be. The magic is in the not knowing. That magic is in what is. Of Salt and Shore pulls readers into a world where mermaids and pirates coexist side by side with ordinary life–and it makes such a world seem both wholly possible and wholly desirable. Who wouldn’t want to return to Lampie’s world again and again?

Laura Watkinson’s effortless translation helps that world come to life. The prose not only flows smoothly, but also feels completely natural. I can imagine many a reader finishing the book without ever realizing it has been translated at all. This is a testament to Watkinson’s skill, of course, but also a great gift to Schaap’s work, helping it reach a wider readership who can fall in love with her story and its characters.

If you love retold fairy tales, if you love mermaids, if you love worlds where the fantastic and the everyday intertwine–then this book is for you. Of Salt and Shore promises magic–and it delivers.

4 stars

9 thoughts on “Of Salt and Shore by Annet Schaap, Trans. by Laura Watkinson (ARC Review)

  1. Jenna @ Falling Letters says:

    I heard about this book during one of the virtual library conferences. I added it to my TBR cos it sounded like something I might enjoy but really I wanted to read some reviews of it first. Your review confirms that this could be just my thing.


  2. Sammie @ The Bookwyrm's Den says:

    This sounds like an absolutely fabulous book! I get a little worn out on retellings sometimes, but I don’t think I’ve read a Little Mermaid retelling (or, in this case, extension almost?!) in some time. This sounds super cute!


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