The Mermaid And Mrs Hancock
Imogen Hermes Gowar
Sometimes it seems the UEA’s school of creative writing is almost solely responsible for the best and brightest writing talent. Imogen Hermes Gowar is certainly one of the most recent examples of UEA alumni producing fine first novels. The Mermaid And Mrs Hancock is set in a brilliantly evoked eighteenth century London and the author does period feel particularly well – think Sarah Perry’s Essex Serpent, perhaps, for a similarly evocative period feel. This is a book about mermaids and merchants, love and class, sparkling with wit and humour. I’m not the first person to tip the author as a literary star in the making, but she’s definitely someone who, on the strength of this first book, is likely to produce wonderful fiction in the coming years.