Author: Sarah Moss
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Page Count: 190
My rating: 2 stars
About the book:
The acclaimed author of Ghost Wall offers a new, devastating, masterful novel of subtle menace
They rarely speak to each other, but they take notice—watching from the safety of their cabins, peering into the half-lit drizzle of a Scottish summer day, making judgments from what little they know of their temporary neighbors. On the longest day of the year, the hours pass nearly imperceptibly as twelve people go from being strangers to bystanders to allies, their attention forced into action as tragedy sneaks into their lives.
At daylight, a mother races up the mountain, fleeing into her precious dose of solitude. A retired man studies her return as he reminisces about the park’s better days. A young woman wonders about his politics as she sees him head for a drive with his wife, and tries to find a moment away from her attentive boyfriend. A teenage boy escapes the scrutiny of his family, braving the dark waters of the loch in a kayak. This cascade of perspective shows each wrapped up in personal concerns, unknown to each other, as they begin to notice one particular family that doesn’t seem to belong. Tensions rise, until nightfall brings an irrevocable turn.
Summerwater by Sarah Moss is a contemporary fiction novella. This one is set in Scotland so of course I was interested since I love to virtually travel along to interesting places.
The story in this one follows a group of strangers staying at a park in a group of cabins. It’s told in a stream of consciousness writing style as each go about their time while keeping an eye on what the others are doing. Here we have anything from an older retired couple interested in selling to a younger couple chasing the perfect orgasm.
Summerwater is another of those books that a lot of people loved but I just unfortunately was not one of them. Reading twelve different situations it almost felt like a book of short stories and I’m not a huge fan of short stories. The characters just seemed to blend together to move and I felt like this one moved incredibly slowly for such a short read. Perhaps the style, perhaps the story but whatever the case I just wasn’t captured by this one.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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