Book 11 of my 2017 Reading Challenge
read from January 29 - February 1
Mermaids in Paradise by Lydia Millet
Summary (via the book jacket)
On the grounds of a Caribbean island resort, newlyweds Deb and Chip - our opinionated, skeptical narrator and her cheerful jock husband - meet a marine biologist who says she's sighted mermaids in a coral reef.
As the resort's "parent company" swoops in to corner the market on mythological creatures, the couple joins forces with other adventurous souls, including an ex-Navy SEAL with a love of explosives and a hipster Tokyo VJ, to save said mermaids from the "Venture of Marvels", which wants to turn their reef into a theme park.
Mermaids in Paradise is Lydia Millet's funniest book yet, tempering the sharp satire of her early career with the empathy and subtlety of her more recent novels and short stories. This is an unforgettable, mesmerizing tale, darkly comic on the surface and illuminating in its depths.
A low 2 stars, not quite a 1 rating because it didn't make me angry or have any glaring issues. It read quickly for all the wrong reasons, because there was no substance or depth to the story or the characters. I was still having trouble knowing which character went with which name at the end of the book.
Everything in the last paragraph of the book description was missing for me. I didn't see the satire or comedy and it's definitely forgettable.
Quote from the Book
"What shocks me the most, in retrospect, is that within the next few days I would assimilate the mermaids handily. One moment they were impossible, the next they were everyday, in my view of the world. Like moon landings or cell phones. They went from of course not to of course. By the second day I was not only not disbelieving in mermaids but thinking of them as a given. A quirky facet of natural history. Oh the mermaids, I would register casually when they were mentioned.
But before the second day, there was the first."