Cover image for Mermaids in paradise : a novel
Mermaids in paradise : a novel
Millet, Lydia, 1968-
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First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2015]
Physical Description:
290 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Deb and Chip, a couple honeymooning at a Caribbean resort, meet a marine biologist who claims to have sighted mermaids at a nearby coral reef, and join with other adventurers to protect the mermaids when the resort reveals plans to build a theme park on the reef.
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FICTION Adult Fiction Central Library
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf

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On the grounds of a Caribbean island resort, newlyweds Deb and Chip--our opinionated, skeptical narrator and her cheerful jock husband who's friendly to a fault--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.

Author Notes

Lydia Millet is the author of Omnivores and George Bush, Dark Prince of Love. She lives in Tucson, Arizona and New York City.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Millet (Magnificence, 2012) extends her run of audaciously imaginative and emotionally complex fiction propelled by ecological concerns in this satirical novel of big trouble in paradise. Deborah, the acidly witty, relentlessly critical, and fiercely unsentimental narrator, marries her opposite, Chip, a hunky sweetheart crazy about fantasy videogames. They honeymoon in a luxurious Virgin Islands resort, where she gets motion sickness in the floating restaurant, and outgoing Chip befriends a motley bunch, including Nancy, a tenacious marine biologist. Deborah's true nature begins to emerge when Nancy recruits them for a clandestine diving expedition to confirm her astounding discovery: actual mermaids are living along the reef. Despite her attempt to enforce secrecy, word gets out; a mermaid frenzy, including the mobilization of religious hysterics, ensues; and Nancy, a strong swimmer, somehow drowns in her bathtub. Was she murdered by the resort's corporate management in a vicious move to capitalize on the ultimate tourist magnet? Millet, devilishly funny, unnervingly incisive, and toughly compassionate, strips bare our conflicts of conscience about our dire abuse of the biosphere, then delivers a truly shocking finale.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Veteran narrator Campbell takes on lighter fare in narrating Millet's latest, a novel rife with wryly comic situations and a cast of unusual characters--who meet at a Caribbean resort and discover to their shock that there is a colony of mermaids (whom they are instructed to call "the Mers") just off the coast. A murder, a theft, and some exploitative land-development schemes ensue. Campbell is best when voicing the first-person perspective of Deb, a shallow but caustically amusing honeymooner who is initially skeptical about the mermaids' existence when they are first discovered by her husband, Chip, an adventurous optimist who possesses a more charitable brand of humor than his wife. The dialogue between Deb and Chip is briskly paced and funny, making eavesdropping on them a delight. Some of the minor characters' portrayals are less successful. Campbell does not offer a convincing Australian accent for the group's videographer, and the hippie- hipster couple comes across as stereotyped. However, these small flaws don't detract much from the enjoyable overall experience. A Norton hardcover. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Starred Review. The fantastic elements in accomplished novelist Millet's (Pills and Starships) latest work highlights the humanity, and lack thereof, that her characters display upon the discovery of the titular mermaids. Deb, the book's main character, is an intriguing mix of shallow, faintly racist, American coastal superiority and keen, surprisingly incisive introspection. When her dream Caribbean honeymoon is interrupted by her husband's discovery of mermaids, she is absorbed into an unlikely arrangement of former strangers whose shared aim is to protect the mermaids from threats that include a multinational conglomerate, religious fundamentalists, and the bored and curious. Narrator Cassandra Campbell's deft voicing of so many characters elevates from good to sublime the experience of listening to what is already a thoroughly enjoyable book. VERDICT Recommended for audio collections, especially those in which literary works are popular. ["Brilliant and wildly funny, with well-placed sharp jolts of sobering reality," read the starred review of the Norton hc, LJ 9/15/14.]-Nicole Williams, Rochelle Park Lib., NJ (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.