This was my book group read for May, and Sheila (our leader) had just completed a course at Queen’s University on Women Writers, which covered this book so she was able to share some nuggets of inspiration about the many layers of meaning to this magical realism fable. Set on a Caribbean Island, the story follows a local fisherman and an ancient mermaid who liked to listen to him singing on his boat. When she is caught by American tourists and strung up on the harbour pier like a prize fish, he rescues her and hides her in his house. The book covers all kinds of issues like colonialism and racism and classism as well as the harmful ways women can be treated by men and by other women. We liked the beautiful writing, told from different perspectives and different points in time which added complexity and interest and we found the story thoughtful, beautiful and sad.
I also liked how I still had the lovely Caribbean voice of Ingrid Persaud in my head from recently listening to Love After Love, to aid my interior monologue as I read!