I love reading Pulitzer Prize Finalist, Lydia Millet’s smart and clever novels. Her new one, MERMAIDS IN PARADISE (Norton) includes mermaids, so I was in heaven! No, I’m not Millet’s publicist, nor did I receive a review copy. I just happen to really like mermaids and her book is just that good. KIRKUS calls her ninth novel, MERMAIDS IN PARADISE one of six novels “you must read” by the end of 2014.

Deborah and Chip meet speed dating and soon after, they get married. The LA couple have to decide where they’re going for their honeymoon. Chip wants to cruise with Midwesterners, or trek in the Himalayas, possibly go on a safari, Deb is more a spa kind of gal! They compromise and head off to the British Virgin Islands for some R&R at Paradise Bay Resort in the Caribbean.

Deb prefers time alone with Chip, but he likes making friends and seats them at a couples table where some unfunny-funny business takes place under the table. “”He made me feel like my toes were prostitutes. Like my toes, Chip , were dolled up in Fredericks of Hollywood. That’s not right.” “Your lips say no, but your toes say yes,” said Chip.”

Soon Deb and Chip are out on a boat with a parrot fish expert and discover mermaids. They try to put a lid on the find, but the story gets out to the resort goons who want to capitalize on it, by caging the mermaids in an underwater zoo and turning it into a Theme Park.

Millet weaves her witty dialogue through offbeat storylines including what may or may not be a murder, kidnappers, a former Navy SEAL still on-duty, a popular Japanese VJ in need of a satellite dish, too many muumuus on the beach, and the battle over ecotourism creating a satire guaranteed to entertain. Dare I write, there’s a message, too?

Once reading MERMAIDS IN PARADISE,  you’ll want to check out all of her other novels and short story collections. She also writes YA. Check out for all things LYDIA!

I LOVE the cover! Great job Julia Druskin and Chris Welch Design at Norton.

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