Saltwater: Winner of the Portico Prize (Paperback)Jessica Andrews (author)
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Saltwater heralds the introduction of a powerful new voice in contemporary fiction. With a sharp eye for millennial ennui and the shifting sands of class, Jessica Andrews’ coming-of-age tale spotlights Lucy, a working class Sunderland girl who wins a place at a London university. Giddy with the promise of metropolitan debauchery she soon begins to realise that it is harder to adapt to her new life than she first thought. A pulsating and immediate debut novel perfect for fans of Normal People.
WINNER OF THE PORTICO PRIZE
'A distinctive new voice for fans of 'Fleabag' or Sally Rooney' Independent
'Raw, intimate and authentic' The Sunday Times
'Gorgeous . . . Andrews's writing is transportingly voluptuous, conjuring tastes and smells and sounds like her literary godmother, Edna O'Brien.' New York Times
'Lyrically poetic' Evening Standard
'Disarmingly honest . . . I wish I had read this when I was 19.' Guardian
When Lucy wins a place at university, she thinks London will unlock her future. It is a city alive with pop up bars, cool girls and neon lights illuminating the Thames at night. At least this is what Lucy expects, having grown up seemingly a world away in working-class Sunderland, amid legendary family stories of Irish immigrants and boarding houses, now defunct ice rinks and an engagement ring at a fish market.
Yet Lucy's transition to a new life is more overwhelming than she ever expected. As she works long shifts to make ends meet and navigates chaotic parties from East London warehouses to South Kensington mansions, she still feels like an outsider among her fellow students. When things come to a head at her graduation, Lucy takes off for Ireland, seeking solace in her late grandfather's cottage and the wild landscape that surrounds it, wondering if she can piece together who she really is.
Lyrical and boundary-breaking, Saltwater explores the complexities of mother-daughter relationships, the challenges of shifting class identity and the way that the strongest feelings of love can be the hardest to define.
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 220 g
Dimensions: 196 x 128 x 22 mm
'Raw, intimate and authentic ... Andrews obviously has talent.' - The Sunday Times
'Luminous.' - Observer New Review
'A stunning new voice in British literary fiction.' - Independent
'Lyrically poetic.' - Evening Standard
'This book is sublime. It dares to be different, to look in a different way. Andrews is not filling anyone's shoes, she is destroying the shoes and building them from scratch.' - Daisy Johnson, author of Everything Under
'Saltwater moved me to tears on several occasions; here is proof of the poetic idiosyncrasies of every family, of every person's narrative being worthy of literature, of the fact that a good novel shouldn't bring voices in from the margins, but travel outwards towards them, and let them tell their own story, in their own voice, in their own, unique way.' - Andrew McMillan
'Saltwater revels in the possibilities of its form, using fragments to shift tone and texture, reminding us of those pivotal moments that can upend a life . . . This book holds disparate elements in a finely wrought balance that is difficult to achieve at any stage of a writing life let alone in a debut.' - Kayo Chingonyi, winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize
'A book of breathtaking beauty. Saltwater is a visionary novel with prose that gets deep under your skin. The short, sharp chapters thrum with life. Lucy is a memorable character, her journey one that is moving and totally compelling, telling a series of deep truths about the state of our divided nation. Andrews is a major new voice in contemporary British fiction.' - Alex Preston
'Powerful.' - Observer New Review
'Captures that overwhelming sense of the possible and how daunting and disorientating it can be when the change you craved doesn't expand your horizons but instead hollows you out.' - Sunday Express
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Thank you to the publishers for this early copy, I admit at first I had looked at this book and thought why have I been sent this to review?
Does this look like something I had requested or would even enjoy? So I had... More
Saltwater has an interesting circular narrative structure. Lucy comes from a not very happy family in Sunderland. Her father is an alcoholic, and she is in danger of following him. She leaves home for independence in... More
What a hauntingly beautiful reading experience this book was. It's written in extremely short chapters in a non-chronological manner that could so easily have felt too disjointed but magically it didn't: the... More
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