Review

Review: The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey

“Everything in the world had a story. He had a story too. He would write his story one day, and write about the mermaid”


Genre: Fiction, Magical Realism
Pages: 187
Rate: 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Goodreads Synopsis
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 for ever…

My Take
What. A. Book ! When I say I loved this book, I LOVED THIS BOOK. Everything about it. Set in 1976 Caribbean Island, The Mermaid of Black Conch follows the aftermath of colonialism. Through prose, journal entries and poems we get a well told story that’s captivating from the first page. Not to mention the folklore tales! There’s great imagery in the pages as well that brought the book to life.

“I wanted to guard her with my life. She would need that. Bodyguard, lover man-husband.”


Part written in verse and part diary excerpts, the author explores identity, self-discovery, colonialism and what white privilege looks like. The characters in this book are distinct and quite memorable, each having their own part to play and each bringing it out so well. There are questionable things that happen in the book that had me shock and in the same breath, I understand why they are there. With characters looking for freedom, while others love, The Mermaid of Black Conch captures it all so well.

The Mermaid of Black Conch is a fantastical, romantic, magical realism filled book that’s short yet packs quite a punch. It’s also a quick read. One that I highly recommend.


Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?

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