Title: Still Water
Author: Rebecca Pert
Genre: Fiction / Literary Fiction
Publisher: The Borough Press
Publication Date: 23rd June 2022
A beautifully written atmospheric story of trauma, grief and redemption, Still Water is a debut from a bright new voice in literary fiction.
When Jane Douglas returns to the Shetland Islands, she thinks she has escaped the dark shadows of her childhood. She carves out a simple life on the bleak, windswept island, working at the salmon fishery and spending quiet evenings at home. And for the first time in her life, she’s happy.
Then the body of Jane’s long-missing mother is found in a flooded quarry. Her mother disappeared when Jane was a teenager, following the death of Jane’s baby brother. Jane has spent her life running from her past, living in fear that she has inherited her mother’s demons. Now, Jane must face what actually happened on that fateful, tragic day twenty years ago…
I was keen to read Still Water from the moment I saw the evocative cover and it totally lived up to my high expectations. It’s a story filled with grief, trauma and the many different shades of perception and memory. There is an almost desolate quality to the prose occasionally, yet at the same time a powerful sensitivity which blew me away, especially considering this is a debut. Still Water is very much about two women – a mother and daughter – and the narrative is split between Jane in the present day, living in the bleak but beautiful Shetland Islands and diary entries written by her mother, Sylvia, decades ago. This worked incredibly well as the ties and traumas between this mother and daughter are slowly revealed. It is a truly beautifully written book that will make your heart ache but there is also hope and a touching sense of forgiveness. I highly recommend.
Thank you so much to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for inviting me on this tour and organising it. I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.
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