Melanie's Reviews > The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar
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bookshelves: historical, book-subscription-boxes, buddy-reads, read-in-2018, dnf


This was my pick for the September 2018 Book of the Month box!

DNF @ Page 149/496

“Its appearance is unbeautiful. It is not what people expect of a mermaid.”

Friends, life is just too short to read books that feel like a chore. On top of racist comments, use of slurs for Romani people, questionable antisemitic speech, slut shaming, and other gross things because of “historical accuracy!” Miss me with all that, please. And the last chapter I finished (14) literally had a questionable orgy going on so that men could fulfill their fantasy of having sex with mermaids. Life is too short, friends. Way too short.

But this is a book set in 1785 London, where a merchant named Mr. Hancock receives a dead mermaid. Said dead mermaid is shown at local exhibit and the entire country goes wild over it. I didn’t get far enough to actually see who becomes the new Mrs. Hancock, but I pity her anyway.

I will say that this book probably does get better, because it was shortlisted for The Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2018, but I just can’t keep reading this. I hope if you pick this one up that you’ll have more enjoyment than I did. Happy reading, friends.

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Buddy read with Destiny at readingmydestiny! ❤
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Reading Progress

September 2, 2018 – Shelved
September 2, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
September 2, 2018 – Shelved as: historical
September 2, 2018 – Shelved as: book-subscription-boxes
October 9, 2018 – Started Reading
October 9, 2018 – Shelved as: buddy-reads
October 9, 2018 – Shelved as: read-in-2018
October 12, 2018 – Shelved as: dnf
October 12, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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message 1: by Elise (new) - added it

Elise (TheBookishActress) this is such. a. gorgeous. cover. holy shit


message 2: by Melanie (new) - added it

Melanie Elise wrote: "this is such. a. gorgeous. cover. holy shit"

Right? Hopefully the insides are just as good! *crosses everything* 💛xx


message 3: by Elise (new) - added it

Elise (TheBookishActress) Melanie wrote: "Elise wrote: "this is such. a. gorgeous. cover. holy shit"

Right? Hopefully the insides are just as good! *crosses everything* 💛xx"


I hope you love it <3


message 4: by may ➹ (new)

may ➹ "LIFE IS TOO SHORT. WAY TOO SHORT" I’M CRYING


Lea (drumsofautumn) I support 👌🏻


message 6: by Elise (new) - added it

Elise (TheBookishActress) ANOTHER TRAGICALLY GORGEOUS COVER


Sharlene Melanie expressed my feelings exactly! It's like homework to read it for book club - may not finish it!


Beth Roberts I'm almost halfway through and I've experienced none of these things. I've come across no Romano people whatsoever. Slut shaming and a questionable orgy? Large parts of the book have taken place so far in a brothel. "Other gross things because of historical accuracy." Hate to say it, but the world has only recently become "enlightened" by such political correctness. It was 1785, people did act this way. And in my experience, most people do still entertain such thoughts today, even those practicing high political correctness. I'm enjoying it so far. There's a lot of humanity in it, and quite a bit of humor as well.


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