Fay is a 35 year old folklorist who studies mermaids. Tom is a 40 year old 3 times divorced radio talk show host. Fay can't commit. Tom commits too easily. When they meet, there is in instant and powerful attraction, but inevitably the course of this love affair is not going to run smoothly. This is a gentle romantic novel about love in all its manifestations, narrated with all of Carol Shields trademark verve, compassion and humour. It's a touching and funny book, full of wit and authentic dialogue, told from shifting viewpoints and with impressively accurate and pin-point observations of how people behave. It's also a novel about work. Fay's research into mermaids is seamlessly integrated into the plot, and is in itself very interesting and informative. Tom's job as a night-time DJ provides much of the humour in the novel, encapsulating neatly the type of people who love to phone into such programmes. All the characters are well-rounded, even the minor ones, and the city of Winnipeg is as much a character in its own right as any of its inhabitants. Perhaps one or two of the plot twists are less than convincing, but the reader is so caught up in Fay and Tom's relationship that it really doesn't matter. A charming and extremely enjoyable novel.