Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience

Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience

At the age of three, Eileen Cronin first realized that only she did not have legs. Her boisterous Catholic family accepted her situation as ?God?s will,? treating her no differently than her ten siblings, as she ?squiddled? through their 1960s Cincinnati home. But starting school, even wearing prosthetics, Cronin had to brave bullying and embarrassing questions. Thanks to At the age of three, Eileen Cronin first realized that only she did not have legs. Her boisterous Catholic famil...

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Title:Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience
Author:Eileen Cronin
Rating:
Genres:Autobiography
ISBN:0393350746
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:352 pages pages

Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience Reviews

  • Deodand
    Mar 30, 2014
    I hate to give a memoir a low rating, but I couldn't get beyond page 20. The prose doesn't flow well and the whole thing seemed clunky. ...
  • Sara
    Mar 27, 2014
    HIghly recommend. An unflinching look at a wild family life from a resilient gal who was born with no legs. Just sails along telling the story, very well crafted memoir writing. ...
  • Maureen Flatley
    Jan 29, 2014
    A classic 1950 Irish Catholic girl's memoir. Just lovely. ...
  • Melissa
    May 19, 2014
    This is one of those books that I found myself picking up to read every time I had a free minute. Eileen's life experiences are very unique to her, but I found myself identifying with her over and over again. She doesn't make herself the martyr, but writes a very honest and intimate st...
  • Miko Lee
    Jan 23, 2014
    Mixed feelings about this memoir of growing up in Midwestern Irish Catholic family. Eileen is the middle of her ten siblings, born without legs she finds multiple ways to succeed. She felt most free when swimming without her artificial legs hence the title. The entire book feels a ...
  • Suzanne
    Dec 16, 2014
    I found the writing here to be odd. Sometimes there were long descriptions of events the author obviously felt were crucial to understand her life story, but they were written in such a way that they were very hard to follow, or hard to figure out. It felt sometimes like we were being ...
  • Jennifer
    Apr 21, 2014
    I really liked this book- It illustrates the complex dynamic in any large family, even apart from the issues of one of its members being disabled. Given that, I can't help but feel resentment toward the narrator's mother and family at large for withholding the truth from her for so lon...
  • Rachel Pruchno
    May 10, 2014
    Incredibly strong start. Beautiful writing, captivating. Falls flat by page 30. ...
  • Libby
    May 08, 2014
    Eileen Cronin admirably describes in juicy and vivid detail her coming of age in a large and boisterous Irish Catholic family in Cincinnati. Born without legs because of her mother's possibly taking thalidomide early in her pregnancy with Eileen (which mystery resonates through her ent...
  • theresa
    Feb 05, 2014
    received this book as a goodreads promotion! phenomenal memoir. ...
  • Carol Malnati
    Mar 09, 2014
    This is a great memoir, one of the best I've read. Story of a young girl growing up in large (11 kids!!) Catholic family....girl is possibly a Thalidomide baby, born with no legs. Sometimes heartbreaking, but mostly amazing how strong she is. I found it hard to put down. ...
  • Rachael
    Feb 06, 2014
    An unflinchingly, honest, heartbreaking and often heartwarming memoir documenting everything from family, religion, attitudes towards disability and the search for love. Worthy of 5 stars and a great read. (I received my edition of Mermaid through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway...
  • Anne
    Apr 19, 2014
    I literally can't put this book down. Eileen is a master at crafting language that will transport you into the world of her upbringing, ranging from indifference to her plight, to ridicule and bullying. It takes an extraordinary character to rise above her childhood, and she has just t...
  • Andy
    Dec 25, 2013
    Terrific book - but then I'm in it. ...
  • Kristen
    Jan 02, 2014
    Very powerful story and well-written. ...
  • Len Joy
    Feb 23, 2014
    This is a great story. If it were told by a less skillful writer, it would be easy for the reader to be overwhelmed by the material. Cronin paints revealing, but compassionate portraits of the people who have touched her life: mother, father, siblings, boyfriends, caregivers, extended ...
  • Donna
    Jun 02, 2014
    I had a hard time putting this book down. The author does a great job mixing humor, conflict, sadness, loss, rivalry, and abandonment into a very interesting story. At the core was her experience as a child with a serious birth defect. I have to admit that I wondered at her difficulty ...
  • Victoria Phelps
    May 14, 2018
    I met Cronin at an AWP panel on writing disability narratives several years ago and purchased her book shortly afterwards. The situations Cronin finds herself in--especially regarding her family--were at times laugh-out-loud funny, at times sobering, and at times both. My only criti...
  • Mimi Fintel
    Feb 06, 2014
    Because her mom took thalidomide during her pregnancy, Eileen Cronin was born without legs. She was born into a Catholic family with 10 siblings. None of the other children had any disabilities. Growing up, Eileen was always told that it was God's will that she had this disability. Gro...
  • Koko
    Dec 24, 2013
    I was privileged to receive an advanced copy of Mermaid. It is an utterly engaging story about a young woman growing up in a Catholic family with 10 siblings, finding her way in the world, and oh yeah, she has no legs! I found it funny, poignant, and heart breaking. The memoir reads li...
  • Pat Ferrandino
    Feb 14, 2014
    I loved this book! Emotional and well written. So many of her own insights rang true for me. ...
  • Sharon Hart
    Jan 16, 2014
    Mermaid evokes so many powerful emotions. It's a truthful look at growing up in a family of eleven. We watch Eileen grow up in the story and see her tenacity as a little girl born without legs to a family of competitive, athletes and ballerinas. She describes her own flaws as well as...
  • Nell Boyle
    Jan 17, 2014
    I loved this book! Eileen Cronin is a gifted storyteller. She uses humor and warmth to share the challenges and happy times of her youth. The book flows seamlessly chapter to chapter to engage and entertain you as you see life through Eileen's eye's. ...
  • Anne Mini
    Jan 17, 2014
    To read Eileen Cronin's devastatingly human memoir is to be plunged into a seemingly bottomless well of very deep emotions: burning shock, fierce longing, everyday desire, well-founded rage, and a monumental yearning to be seen as one actually is. Many of the scenes here are of nightma...
  • Phillip Saunders
    Mar 10, 2014
    Amazing book, amazing author ...
  • Andrea Forro
    Mar 10, 2014
    Well written, engaging....draws you right into this damaged, hilarious Irish family. Loved it! ...
  • Elaine
    Apr 10, 2014
    Terrific. Extremely compelling and thought provoking. ...
  • Paul
    Dec 13, 2015
    This is a tortuous book to read. The author is born disabled, lacking her forelegs and having one hand that was webbed at birth and surgically separated when she was an infant, but which she still refers to as "my claw hand." The most prominent aspect of the book to me was her nasty fa...
  • Robby Hamlin
    Nov 11, 2015
    This is an amazing book on many levels. Since I am not experienced in reviewing the books I read, I can only say what it meant to me. I chose to read it when I noticed its overall subject, living with a disability. A few years back and turning 65, I decided I would try to write a memoi...
  • Pagh8264
    Oct 31, 2014
    I lowered my rating to a 4 star because I'm afraid I was too swayed with all of the Cincy references that I shared with the author. Although she's a few years younger than me it was so great to read about her early years growing up around the same time and city as me. The silence of th...