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When Mermaids Sing
     

 

 
  When Mermaids Sing - Cover   about the novel

The plot of When Mermaids Sing centers on an “extraction” of two members of a religious cult by a “deprogrammer” known as Black Lightning. Larry Brown, the novel’s narrator, is a cerebral and insecure junior high school teacher struggling with an unfaithful girlfriend and public school bureaucracy. He teams up with Black Lightning to rescue the cult members, one of whom is his cousin. During the course of the novel Larry must come to terms with difficult observations concerning his cousin’s precarious emotional state and revelations about their upbringing. Larry’s experience offers an insight into many of the issues encountered by the first wave of baby boomers coming of age during the cultural transformation that took place in the early 1970’s.

The rescue of the cult members in When Mermaids Sing is secondary to the novel’s development of Larry’s character and his struggle to make sense of his place in a time when many of his fellow baby boomers were rebelling against the conformist ideology of the post World War II “Establishment.” Larry’s struggle is depicted through a first person, present tense narrative that spans a ten-day period, utilizing dialogue, interior monologue, reminiscence and the cult extraction plot. In many ways, these components of the narrative combine into a portrait of the novel’s characters and the times, similar to Pieter Brueghel’s painting Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, in which an event so amazing as a boy falling from the sky is juxtaposed with the everyday activities of a ploughman, shepherd and fisherman.


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  about the novel   about the author   book reviews   reader responses   press   dicussion guide   contact us   purchase: Purchase on Amazon.com!   Purchase on BarnesandNoble.com!   Purchase at iUniverse.com!