Summerwater by Sarah Moss, the acclaimed author of Ghost Wall, is an intriguing novel that tells the story of twenty-four hours in the lives of six couples and their children on holiday in the Scottish Highlands.
It is the height of Summer when the days are long, but the relentless rain keeps the residents of the ageing holiday park ensconced in their cabins for much of the time.
Justine takes her morning run, despite the weather, while her husband and young sons remain in bed.
Elderly retirees, David and Mary, remember friendly neighbours of years long passed when all the children played together as the sun shone.
Josh and Milly have only thoughts for each other and the nature of their relationship during their stay in Josh’s parents’ cabin.
Lola and Jack are sent to play outside as the rain eases, while Mum stays indoors and Dad goes to the pub ‘for the wifi’ to catch up on work. Down by the loch they meet Violetta, a strange child, whose mother appears to throw wild parties with loud music that annoys the adults.
Bored and miserable, teenager, Alex, takes off with his kayak to explore the loch, while his sister, Becky, sulks in the cabin with Mum and Dad.
As the rain continues to fall, the endless day wears on and they all watch on, unmindful of impending tragedy.
Don’t be deceived by the length of this novel. Its pages are packed with tension and drama. The construction of each sentence and the detail in every paragraph will keep the reader intrigued from start to finish. Beautifully written, wonderfully descriptive and with glimpses of a wry sense of humour, it is a must read for 2020.
Summerwater is available in paperback, hardback and e-book
About Sarah Moss
Sarah Moss is the author of seven novels and a memoir of her year living in Iceland, Names for the Sea. Her most recent novel Ghost Wall was long-listed for the Women’s Prize in 2019. Sarah was born in Glasgow and grew up in the north of England. After moving between Oxford, Canterbury, Reykjavik, West Cornwall and the Midlands, she now lives in Dublin where she teaches English Literature and Creative Writing at UCD.