Shrouded in charcoal-colored mist and mystery, Sailor Twain: Or The Mermaid In The Hudson is a graphic novel that will grab you by the throat and pull you under its thrall. Mark Siegel spins a tale of obsession, magic, love, and tragedy against the backdrop of Victorian New England.
The eponymous Elijah Twain, captain of the steamboat Lorelei, is a simple man with humble ambitions to be a writer. His life though is less than inspiring. Kept away for months at a time from his devoted but sickly wife, overwhelmed by writer’s block, and constantly inconvenienced by the antics of the Lorelei’s owner, an eccentric French aristocrat by the name of Lafayette, Twain’s life seems chained to the bleak boundaries of the Hudson River.
All this changes, though, when he finds an injured mermaid clinging to the deck of his boat.
Twain nurses the mermaid back to health in secret, finding in her the inspiration that has long eluded him, unaware all the while that he has become part of a dangerous series of events revolving around Lafayette, a string of strange disappearances, and an ancient curse that will spell doom for all those in his charge.
Haunting, sensual, and compelling, Sailor Twain has already received numerous accolades for both art and writing, including being named a New York Times Bestseller. Siegel’s gripping narrative is entrenched in both history and mythology, weaving for the reader a story that deserves its place alongside any of the great American classics.
Sailor Twain is available in print from First Second books, in hardcover, ebook, and the newly released paperback edition. The first five chapters are also available to read online, but I highly recommend you pick up your own copy today. Not only is this book worth multiple reads, if you’re like this reviewer you will find yourself compelled to crack it open and be pulled in yet again by the entrancing song of The Mermaid in the Hudson.