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Summary

Escape to the ocean with the entrancing, unforgettable winner of the Costa Book of the Year.

Features original music created for the audiobook.

Near the island of Black Conch, a fisherman sings to himself while waiting for a catch. But David attracts a sea-dweller that he never expected - Aycayia, an innocent young woman cursed by jealous wives to live as a mermaid.

When American tourists capture Aycayia, David rescues her and vows to win her trust. Slowly, painfully, she transforms into a woman again. Yet as their love grows, they discover that the world around them is changing - and they cannot escape the curse forever....

©2019 Monique Roffey (P)2020 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"A bittersweet love story." (BBC News)

"A fiercely modern mermaid story." (The Times)

"Wondrous.... A striking achievement." (Sunday Times)

What listeners say about The Mermaid of Black Conch

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An unusual but engaging love story

This is not a straightforward love story but it certainly is something different, a fresh look at what it means to love someone despite almost impossible circumstances. The story also examines greed, prejudice, the role of myths and legends in society and the corrosive effect of slavery, still felt today in the Caribbean islands.

The storytelling is very deft, drawing the reader into an interesting world which the rational mind should really reject. But somehow the author pulls off a novel of real substance, an engaging read and one which makes you think about your own ability (or lack of it) to take a leap of faith for things which others would ridicule. Great narration helped to make this a fascinating listen.

26 people found this helpful

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  • K
  • 20-02-21

Wonderful story telling

A wonderful mythical story which takes you swimming into the sea with a mermaid, back into her history and forward into the lives of a tight knit community; facing complex life and love and hurt as one tiny time bubble, crashing and then receding like a wave.

12 people found this helpful

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amazing!

at first I wasn't sure, but soon i was hooked. (pun intended)
worth its costa book award.
amazing.

11 people found this helpful

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Fabulous

Loved this story - so different to the books I normally read, I so enjoyed it. The narration is superb, I’m so pleased I listened rather than reading as it brought it to life.

10 people found this helpful

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Fantastic narration!

I loved this book, the narrators were absolutely wonderful and really made the story come alive. The story was interesting with fully formed characters that I wanted to know more about. Really enjoyed it ☺️

6 people found this helpful

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mesmerising story with unfamiliar voices

Loved the Caribbean atmosphere and tone of voice. Never heard English spoken like that before, which was intriguing and strengthened the sense of being taken into another world. The performance of the two readers was exceptional.

5 people found this helpful

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Good story but too long in my opinion

story good but constant themes throughout made it get a bit boring. I found the strong accent of the narrator difficult to understand at times and I don't think this narrator brought much benefit to the listening experience

4 people found this helpful

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OK

Interesting story, but I'm not keen on the idea that women are the main source of danger or problems to other women. I think this is just traditional sexist view.

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Dull

Very slow and uneventful story. Surprised that it was only 7h30 though it felt like an eternity. Nothing much happens throughout the book and the male narrator with his thick accent is distracting and detracts from the story. Surprised it got an award though nowadays it seems that there is an award for everything.

2 people found this helpful

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I believe in Mermaids now

Wonderful, lyrical, mythical and absolutely compelling. The description of the mermaid is truly mesmerising. Loved every word of it. Thank you.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kathryn
  • 14-05-22

A sumptuous reading of a sensual book

Ben Onwukue's beautiful voice totally embodies the spirit of this magical book, enriching its characters with vulnerability, humanity & truth, and Vivienne Acheampong joins him as the voice of a mermaid in whom we cannot but believe. A sweet & moving adult fairytale of love and friendship.

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  • Hannah
  • 23-03-22

Loved it

I absolutely loved it. The story was amazing, I can't wait to discuss it with my book club. There's going to be some heated debating I think!

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  • Darian Beharry
  • 07-03-22

authentic, could have been longer

i really enjoyed this story, but i felt it was too lean and would have benefitted from some further character and story development to flesh out what is a very rich and fascinating story.
the author delivers a story in a truly authentic Trinidadian voice that brought a smile to my face.
the voice acting was excellent, and was almost authentic, except mispronouncing a few Trini words that couldn't be ignored.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-09-21

A Beauty

I've been aware of needing to read more books from the global south, and am so grateful I came upon this beauty. I have dwelt in it, re-listened to parts, and been reminded of the courage of love.
The narrators enriched this writing, for me.