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Summary

Winner of the 2020 Cost Book Award.

Winner of the 2020 Costa Novel Award.

Shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2020

Features original music created for the audiobook.

March 1976: St Constance, a tiny Caribbean village on the island of Black Conch, at the start of the rainy season. A fisherman sings to himself in his pirogue, waiting for a catch but attracts a sea-dweller he doesn't expect. Aycayia, a beautiful young woman cursed by jealous wives to live as a mermaid, has been swimming the Caribbean Sea for centuries. And she is entranced by this man David and his song.

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

Critic reviews

"Monique Roffey is a unique talent and most daring and versatile of writers'." (Bernardine Evaristo)

"Sensuous, beguiling, but without whimsy...a striking achievement." (The Sunday Times)  

"Not your standard mermaid." (Margaret Atwood) 

What listeners say about The Mermaid of Black Conch

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

18 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.

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

6 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.

6 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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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.

3 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 ☺️

3 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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Excellent read.

I loved the two narrators. Superb performances. The prose is beautiful & an excellent commentary on interpersonal relationships as well as race and gender. Highly reccomend.

1 person found this helpful

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Magical, great narration

This story swept me off to the Caribbean. Very absorbing. Brilliant narration. Very atmospheric. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

1 person found this helpful