Book Review: The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey

My rating: ★★★★★

Genre: Fiction/ General Fiction

Pace: Slow

Source: Costa Book Awards announcement

“ I knew she was from ancient times, from times when people knew magic, when people saw gods everywhere and talked to the plants, the animals and even the fish in the sea.”

The embellished writing, the beautiful mythical theme, the talk of heart-mates, the push and pull of life and loneliness. There is endless beauty to this book.

What Is It About?

Aycayia was cursed by jealous women over a thousand years ago to live a lonely life as a mermaid. She is lulled to Black Conch bay by David’s singing. Fishermen pull her ashore and she spends her time above water loving, learning and never quite running away from the women who cursed her even though they are long, long gone.

What I Thought

The way this is written is beautiful, there are parts of speech written in the Black Conch vernacular that makes you slow down with your reading and enjoy the story. It is the perfect mythology mixed with modern day, it was conscious of class, colonialism and history also.

I usually break the spines on books and fold the pages (sorry to admit that) but not with this one! I just wanted to cherish this story, the feel of the book and the cover are so astoundingly beautiful so how could I?

What I Appreciated

The author introduced me to new words such as bougainvillea and tabanca. I love when this happens, I was introducted to new imagery and emotions. This is when you know a book is good!

I wish I could read this again for the first time!

Thanks for reading,

Charlon 🧜🏻‍♀️

Book Review: Writers and Lovers by Lily King

“I can’t go out with a guy who’s written eleven and a half pages in three years. That kind of thing is contagious.”

My rating: ★★★☆☆

Casey is suffering. She is suffering the loss of her mother, suffering in her restaurant job, her mental health, her physical health and the shitty dating pool of writers.

I’ve always found it weird to read about writers, I’ve never learnt about or followed authors because I feel people taint their work if that makes sense. It takes the magic away from books that are so ethereal, intelligent and heartwarming which a lot of times people are not. This is a naïve attitude I know and in reading reviews on Goodreads, I have noticed everyone also loved Euphoria by Lily King, maybe I should give it a read and finally get over this fear of following authors!

Themes of deep fear, pain and misogyny run through this book. All the way through I just wanted Casey to find a way to be ok. The book was an ode to how people are fickle, how hurtful love and life can be and the true suffering that goes on in life.

I wish Casey found a way to be ok in herself, and did not have to rely on a successful career to make everything ok. As soon as she got money, there was no comment on how she was dealing with the loss of her mother or the results on her hospital tests. I feel like the book ended where it shouldn’t have.

If you take the ending away, it is a raw account of the pains of love and loss. With it, it’s a tribute to how money solves all your problems.

Thanks for reading,

Charlon ♦︎

The Perfectly Imperfect Woman by Millie Johnson

My rating: ★★★★☆

This book was a gift from a friend, with a handwritten note wishing me a Merry Christmas.

It’s so lovely to be gifted books, especially with a note and it made me very happy!

Right from the beginning I was sold with this book, the lead character quits her job and bakes cheesecakes for a living!

I stormed through this book, there was a lot going on and it was funny, had an old-timely feel about it with its village settings and community feel and even a mystery to figure out.

I think it clashes in places though, the female character left her home and her city when she was humiliated that her lover (who was married) lied to her about his relationship with his wife. I think this is a horrible message to convey, he stayed in his job so why doesn’t she?

I think I just have issues with how authors decide to write their female characters, I blame reading all those books on feminism in uni it’s skewed my mind! But if you can look past this I would definitely recommend this book as my friend recommended it to me.

Thanks for reading ,

Charlon ♦︎