Review: Summerwater by Sarah Moss

SUMMERWATER BY SARAH MOSS

Publisher:  Picador

Publication date: 2020

Source:  Purchased

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.

This is a story told in vignettes of various lengths – not one of my favourite forms of novel, so I was on dodgy ground from the start.  I find it really difficult to connect the characters and follow the thread of the story in this kind of novel … I’m probably just too stupid :). But Sarah Moss is one of those authors I feel I should love.  I have at least 4 other novels by her sitting on my shelf waiting to be read … don’t ask me why; I cannot explain the force that makes me buy her books!

This book was well written, but it just didn’t really do anything for me.  The only thing I really remember is the frustration of having to listen to someone else’s music late into the night – the event that forms the climax of this book.  I honestly can’t remember anything else about it – I think there is a woman who jogs to get away from her family, but that is about it.  

I know many love this book, so I’m pretty sure Sarah Moss will be just fine without a glowing review from me – you can’t win them all, and we can’t all like the same books!  I’m still happy to try another of hers from my shelves, so all is not lost yet!

2/5 stars

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