Friday, September 14, 2012

Men Who Wish To Drown by Elizabeth Fama [REVIEW]

Men Who Wish To Drown
(Monstrous Beauty #0.5)
by Elizabeth Fama
 Summary from Goodreads:

"From the Falmouth Historical Society Collection

Cited as the only extant firsthand record of a mermaid encounter in New England waters, this deathbed letter from a great-grandfather to his great-grandson is more likely an instructive fiction--a parable of regret. Supposedly corroborating the mermaid story, a ship's log (in the collections of the Provincetown Historical Museum) of the schooner Hannah, which plucked Mr. Stanton from South Weepecket in 1788, indicates that the crew saw two figures on the island prior to his rescue, but failed to locate a second victim. However, regarding accuracy and reliability, this is the same crew, under Captain John Merriweather, that reported sightings of a ghost ship and not one, but two sea monsters. ~~James S. Rucker, Archivist, Family Collections, Falmouth Historical Society, 1924
"

Rating:

Men Who Wish To Drown can be read at Tor.com, just click the link below:
Men Who Wish To Drown by Elizabeth Fama

Men Who Wish To Drown is a story written in a form of a letter by Resolved Henry Stanton. This letter was found amongst the collection of the Falmouth Historical Society of records of mermaid encounters in New England waters.

Resolved Henry Stanton’s letter was addressed to his great-grandson, Thomas, where he told a story of how he met an extraordinary creature of the sea. Although the society deems it a fictional tale of a man on his deathbed, the question still remains to those who read this letter – Was it true?

CAUTION: Spoilers up ahead!

I wasn’t expecting that kind of format of storytelling. I’ve just recently read Elizabeth Fama’s Monstrous Beauty, which was incredible by the way, and although Men Who Wish To Drown was an interesting story, I had my confused moments while reading it. Well, taking it from an old man lying on his deathbed, no doubt it would be sort of puzzling. You don’t really know where the story will be going, and the purpose behind it not until you reach the end.

I was really surprised to meet Henry. I mean, I know a lot of men have fallen for Syrenka, but I never thought I’d expect to find someone, well... alive! Okay so technically still alive, because, you know, he is about to die (I’m sorry that sounds morbid of me). But knowing Syrenka, I think she’s the kind of mermaid with the NO SURVIVORS motto, and finding Henry dying of old age, and not by drowning in the sea or something was undeniably a shock.

At first I thought, reading that this is a Last Will and Testament, Henry was about to leave Thomas an object that he acquired over meeting a seafolk; a secret that he has kept and is now just revealing it to an important person that would come to be part of the Monstrous Beauty characters. Now correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t remember if a Thomas was present in Monstrous Beauty. I’m also thinking if he was probably Hester’s friend but I can’t quite remember his name. Forgive me; I tend to forget names a lot. But then I think this was during Syrenka and Ezra’s time, which I don’t remember having a Thomas around either, so maybe he’s solely part of this book and was never at Monstrous Beauty.

Anyway, my assumption did happen [at some point], but when I finished Men Who Wish To Drown, I realized Henry didn’t just leave Thomas a tangible object, he left him with a lesson he should take to heart: something along the lines of choosing wisely; of not letting the influence of other people make you decide to choose otherwise just because of fear. Let your decisions be your own choices, and to live – or die – without regret.

Men Who Wish To Drown is a short story that although doesn’t have much to do with the actual novel, is something I found to be a valuable story to read.

1 comment:

  1. Nice review :) I love the cover! :)


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