In this BLF Book Club event, award-winning author Monique Roffey discusses her novel ‘The Mermaid of Black Conch’, which was named the 2021 COSTA Book Awards ‘Book of the Year’.
March 1976: St Constance, a tiny Caribbean village on the island of Black Conch, at the start of the rainy season. Whilst waiting for a catch, David, a fisherman, encounters a sea-dweller he doesn’t expect – a mermaid called Aycayia, centuries old, drawn to him by his singing. But one day, when swimming towards the sound of his boat’s engine, she is caught, torn painfully from the sea and strung up as a trophy by American tourists who are in St Constance for the annual fishing competition. Having witnessed the battle, David rescues her and hides her away – where she slowly, painfully turns into a woman.
But in the tiny community of St Constance, tongues will wag, and dark forces begin to circle David and Aycayia. A terrible storm brews, and it becomes clear that the mermaid cannot remain on Black Conch forever…
Based on a Neo-Taino legend of a beautiful woman transformed into a mermaid, The Mermaid of Black Conch is a lyrical and vivid story of love, loss, family and friendship, as well as the destructive power of jealousy, and the terrible force of nature.
This event took place on 26th February 2021 and is hosted by Author, Stephen May.