A woman on the edge of the sea finds a girl on the edge of life. Brittle but not yet broken, Ia Pendilly ekes out a fierce life in a caravan on the coast of Cornwall. In years of living with Bran – her embattled, battering cousin and common law husband – she’s never yet had her own baby.
So when she discovers the waif washed up on the shore, Ia takes the risk and rescues her. And the girl, in turn, will rescue something in Ia – bringing back a memory she’s lost, giving her the strength to escape, and leading her on a journey downriver.
It will take her into the fringes of a society she’s shunned, collapsed around its own isolation. It will take her through a valley ravaged by floods, into a world not too far from reckoning. It will take her in search of her sister, and the dark remembrance of their parting.
It will take her, break her, remake her, in the shapes of freedom. Natasha Carthew is a startling new voice from beyond the limits of common urban experience. She tells a tale of marginalisation and motherhood in prose that crashes like waves on rocks: rough, breathless and beautiful.
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