by Sarah Moss
24 June 2021
A Stylist, Observer and Sunday Times book to watch out for'Sharp, searching, thoroughly imagined, utterly of the moment . . .
it throws much contemporary writing into the shade' Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf HallFrom the acclaimed author of Ghost Wall, Summerwater is a devastating story told over twenty-four hours in the Scottish highlands, and a searing exploration of our capacity for both kinship and cruelty in these divided times. On the longest day of the summer, twelve people sit cooped up with their families in a faded Scottish cabin park. The endless rain leaves them with little to do but watch the other residents.
A woman goes running up the Ben as if fleeing; a retired couple reminisce about neighbours long since moved on; a teenage boy braves the dark waters of the loch in his red kayak. Each person is wrapped in their own cares but increasingly alert to the makeshift community around them. One particular family, a mother and daughter without the right clothes or the right manners, starts to draw the attention of the others.
Tensions rise and all watch on, unaware of the tragedy that lies ahead as night finally falls. 'Nothing escapes her sly humour and brilliant touch. Deft and brimming with life, Summerwater is a novel of endless depth.
A masterpiece.' Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist