The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

A History in Three Volumes

Book - 2018
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This voyage is special. It will change everything... 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. As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlours and brothels, everyone wants to see Mr. Hancock's marvel. Its arrival spins him out of his ordinary existence and through the doors of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on... and a courtesan of great accomplishment. This meeting will steer both their lives onto a dangerous new course, on which they will learn that priceless things come at the greatest cost. Where will their ambitions lead? And will they be able to escape the destructive power mermaids are said to possess?
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario : HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2018
Branch Call Number: FICTION GOW
Characteristics: 487 p. ; 23 cm


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Aug 21, 2019

Not a bad read. It kept my attention throughout the entire book. I enjoyed the late 1700's British dialog and customs. Though I was underwhelmed with the mermaid concept, I could strongly relate to the main character Angelica's search for financial security and stability.

Mar 30, 2019

Well written, using language that not only creates a mental picture, but reproduces the smells and sounds of 18th century London. I was surprised at w well the mermaid fantasy melded with the hard reality for women in this century. It seemed that high class prostitutes had a better life than many females.

Jan 30, 2019

Writing is rich with day-to-day details. Powdered hair, pinned clothes, slippers, modes of travel, food smells, heat by coal, different speech dialects, nouns like bourdaloue, a porcelain piss-pot and details on its use. I enjoyed all that. The tone is sad, however, and that is what I remember the most about it.

ArapahoeKati Jan 04, 2019

A lush atmospheric debut. It’s long but beautifully rich and detailed. There's passion, humor and a real flair for the Georgian era.

Nov 29, 2018

Although I enjoy great literary work and classic works of literature, I still get disinterested in the Georgian era style of writing. This was a very very long read. If this gets adapted into a movie, they can easily cut half the book and it wouldn't be missed. If this style of writing is not your cup of tea, skip it. If it is go for it. If you're excited about Mermaid lore, it's not what you're expecting.

Nov 28, 2018

496 pgs

IndyPL_JessicaL Oct 23, 2018

Great historical fiction with a strong dash of magical realism. Not your typical mermaid story.

Oct 20, 2018

♥ ♥ Loved this book! ♥ ♥ My best read of 2018 so far.

ArapahoeJessica Sep 18, 2018

A courtesan and a captain are brought together by an unlikely curiosity (a mermaid's corpse) and find their lives forever changed. So atmospheric and absorbing! Felt like I fell right through the pages onto the streets of eighteenth century London. Sure to be a big book club hit!

JCLSarahA Jul 03, 2018

I kept hearing about this book, as it had already been released in Europe and so I was excited to read the advanced reader's copy that our library received. I was not disappointed! For lovers of historical fiction this one is a winner and a unique story that will hold your interest until the very last chapter. I especially liked the character development and the setting - I could almost close my eyes and be transported back to 1780 London. Add it to your "to read" list now and hope that Imogen Hermes Gower is quickly writing her next story.

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Jan 30, 2019

Angelica on p 265, "And when you are a poor woman, and unprotected, you are near as well a whore, even if you have not fallen yet. If one small thing goes awry, of course you must be tempted to it. Everybody knows that the moment will come some day; however honourable you are the taint of it is already on you. Eventually one fells one has no choice."

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