Rónán and the Mermaid: A Tale of Old Ireland
author: Marianne McShane
illustrator: Jordi Solano
Long ago, on the eastern coast of Ireland, a monk from the Abbey of Bangor was collecting driftwood along the wave-tossed shore when he found a boy washed up amid a circle of seals. At first the boy, wrapped in a shawl of woven seagrass, could barely move or speak. But when he regained his strength, he recalled being brought ashore by a lady with long golden hair who sang him to safety and gave him a silver ring. The monks knew the legend of a mermaid who had wandered the coast for three hundred years. Could it possibly have been her? Inspired by a story told in medieval chronicles of Irish history about a wondrous happening in the year 558, debut author Marianne McShane weaves a captivating tale, while Jordi Solano captures the legend’s spare but welcoming abbey on the rocky shore — a setting that makes you believe that if you listen hard enough, you too can hear the mermaid’s song.
An Irish storyteller revisits the little-known legend of the Mermaid Saint in a haunting, beautifully illustrated tale of kindness, music, and longing.