The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey audiobook review — an arrestingly poetic story

Written by Christina Hardyment for The Times on Saturday, January 16th, 2021

The Trinidadian writer Monique Roffey has a sharp, original way of looking at the world. Her sixth novel, which has just won the Costa novel of the year award, is set on a remote Caribbean island in the 1970s. David Baptiste is strumming a guitar and enjoying a spliff while fishing for red snapper when the red-skinned merwoman Aycayia raises her barnacled, seaweed-clotted head from the water, long black hair like ropes, “jook up” with anemones and conch shells.


The arrestingly poetic narrative is divided between Ben Onwukwe as David and Vivienne Acheampong as Aycayia, and they both excel. The Mermaid of Black Conch is undoubtedly a novel that gains immensely from being heard.