Mitch Kaplan’s latest selection of books

We’re in the middle of another summer of new and exciting literature, and this month Books & Books’ Mitch Kaplan compiles a list of fiction titles that make great beach reads and excellent travel companions – whether your trip is external or internal. In addition, all four novels are written by women.

The Black Conch Mermaid by Monique Roffey

This 2020 Costa Book of the Year award-winner tells the story of an old woman named Aycayia whose beauty punishment was a curse that turned her into a mermaid and allowed her to roam the seas. More recently, she finds herself in the fishing nets of two American anglers visiting the fictional island of Black Conch. David, a fisherman who caught Aycayia’s attention with his singing while fishing in 1973, comes to her aid and takes her to his home to take care of her. She begins to transform back into a human, leaving David to help her adjust to her new body and life. This exciting read navigates through femininity, jealousy, love and sexuality while portraying Caribbean mythology.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Gabrielle Zevin is the bestselling author of several critically acclaimed novels, including The storied life of AJ Fikry and Young Jane Young. Their latest adventurous title, with a resonant name, explores Sam and Sadie’s friendship. Their relationship can be complicated at times, but is always held together by their love of video games. The two grow, drift apart, and reunite as they progress from playing Super Mario Bros to designing and creating their own video game together. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow is a friendship story that touches on disability and identity, failure and success and above all love in different forms.

Fellowship Point by Alice Elliott Dark

fellowship point it’s about saving something you care about. Agnes Lee, a children’s book author, is determined to preserve a place in Maine called Fellowship Point. To do this, she must convince the shareholders of the property to dissolve their partnerships. Agnes’ best friend Polly happens to be one of those people. Polly, torn between her best friend and the wishes of her three sons, must decide what to do. The book examines the relationship between women, class differences and the protection of nature.

Our Women Under the Sea by Julia Armfield

In this thoughtful tale of a marriage tested by unforeseen circumstances, Leah is a marine biologist who embarks on an expedition on a submarine when something goes wrong. After Leah has returned from the bottom of the ocean, she is no longer herself. Her wife Miri notices that she is distant and wanders around the apartment, lost in thought. Whatever happened on that submarine, Leah must deal with the psychological aftermath, and Miri wonders if her wife will ever be herself again.

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