Detailed and perceptive. Questioning and elusive. Often uncomfortable and strangely familiar…

Summerwater by Sarah Moss

Summerwater is set in a Scottish holiday park one very wet summer. The story chronicles the events of the residents through one day. Each chapter is told from 12 different characters points of view, ranging from retired pensioners, middle-aged parents and young lovers to teens and toddlers. This provides a startlingly varied observation on humanity and the interactions between people and generations. The weather finds them cooped up in their faded cabins, passing the time by watching the other residents. Tension mounts throughout the day towards a devastating tragedy.

Sarah Moss writes in the kind of prose one looses oneself in – it is all-absorbing…and at points almost suffocating. The events at Summerwater unfold in compelling succession. On completion you feel as if you have come up for air, from something that evades your grasp. The timescale of one day added beautifully to it’s elusiveness yet immersive detail. Darkness laps at the edges like the water of the loch on the banks, and the torrent of rain tests everyone’s patience and capacity for hope.

I loved the format and the continuously shifting character monologues. The characters themselves were so three-dimensional they seemed to crackle and the setting was so vivid I had to squint to see the writing through the rain. I particularly loved the flow between people and nature, character and place.

Acutely perceptive and brimming with relevant questions.

Meg Readz xx

Thank you to Waterstones, Picador Books and Sarah Moss for sending me a proof copy.

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