Author: Imogen Hermes Gowar
Buy: Amazon UK
If I could only read one book ever again, it would be this one. It’s absolutely stunning.
My favourite read this year… Jfc this book is amazing. I knew almost nothing going into The Mermaid and Mrs Handcock, and I think that was the best way to do it. I had no expectations of this book and it completely blew me away!
For a pretty mature adult novel, I found this book quite easy to read simply because I was enjoying it so much. The language is sumptuous and luxurious, every sentence was actually beautiful. The vicarious emotion I felt through the characters was almost overwhelming, from the mournful moments to the gorgeous and content ones. Even the whimsical, fantasy-like chapters had me hanging off every phrase as if it were my own life at stake. I cannot express just how incredible this author is.
Often, in novels such as this, memorable characters are compromised in favour of plot or style – but not here. I adored each and every one, from the playful yet responsible niece Sukie, to the unfortunate yet optimistic Angelica, to the mourning and apprehensive Mr Handcock. All of them were complex and thought-out and real.
The plot, though… It was quite amazing. This novel is almost 500 pages long, but it went in the blink of an eye. Yet, it astounds me how broad the time scale is, and how much happens within that time. How much the characters grow, how much the circumstance changes, how different their stories become…
Overall, I was stunned by the writing, hypnotised by the plot, and in love with the characters. It’s rare to find an author who can do just one of these things well – and downright dangerous to find one that can master all three!