Pearl doesn’t know how she came to be in the river behind her house. Soon her daughter and granddaughter arrive to sort through her things, get the house on the market. Ada and Pepper have moved around so much, Ada never holding down a job or home for long. She doesn’t intend to stay at her mother’s house long, but the country has a way of drawing her in.
Pearl endured the rain all night. The kind that wore away at her bones. Battered, huddled on her rock, each drop seeping in until she was doused.
Parts of the story could easily fit amongst the tales of Diving Belles. For those who are fans of her writing style, Weathering is definitely worth a read. It has maybe lost a little of the magic of the short stories but her writing is beautiful. Evocative of the landscape, the river, the slow decay of the house and, as the title suggests, an awful lot of weather. It’s a tale of belonging.
The house is central to the story, a character in itself and one that starts off being a burden and slowly becomes loved. Life in a remote rural location is quiet in pace but full of its own particular challenges, as Ada and Pepper soon learn. I’m guessing it’s in Devon, where Lucy Wood lives. The landscape definitely fits for anyone that knows the woods and moorland.
Thin feathers of ice had grown in the water around her feet. Suddenly reminded all over again how well her mother knew the place, how she’d belonged: the weather not difficult and unexpected, the river not strange, the valley not lonely or trapping.
As someone who has had a stray cat decide to live with them, I loved Captain. His behaviour is spot on, right down to the grudging acceptance of a young child. Pepper’s disappointment in finding a pet but not one that wanted to be petted reminded me of the whirling dervish of our cat when he first came to live with us.
The grandmother’s story is probably the part that most reflects the tales in Diving Belles. She doesn’t know how she got in to the river, we assume she fell, but slowly the link between her and the place and her family become clearer. I loved the ending, it made me smile in the same way her short stories did.
Weathering is published by Bloomsbury and is available now in hardback and ebooks editons. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.
Also reviewed @ Fleur in her World
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.
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