“One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock hears urgent knocking on his front door. One of his captains is waiting eagerly on the step. He has sold Jonah’s ship for what appears to be a mermaid.”
The blurb of this book really doesn’t give much away… so let me correct that for you (without spoilers of course!)
When widowed merchant Jonah Hancock takes possession of a mermaid he suddenly finds himself thrust into the world of high society pleasure seekers. He becomes obsessed with an innocent looking girl at the famous Mrs Chappell’s house, but Angelica is in love with another and won’t even look at him unless he finds her a mermaid too.
We follow Angelica and Jonah through their highs and lows as they get closer and drift apart again as they discover the true meaning of love, forget it and try to remember it again, whilst trying to find a permanent place within the privilege and pomp of London society.
I waited an age to read this book and then I almost gave up halfway through. For me, believable characters are key and there was something not hanging together for me in Angelica’s character – I couldn’t quite believe her. But I decided to give it another 30 pages and suddenly there was a piece of information that made Angelica click with me. Then her character began to grow and the twist began which made for absorbing reading.
I’m glad I persevered, the second half of the book was masterful, but if Angelica’s character had been revealed a little earlier I would have loved the whole thing.
NB I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in return for an honest review. The BookEaters always write honest reviews