We are our stories. We tell them to stay alive or keep alive those who only live now in the telling.
Bed-bound in her attic room beneath the falling rain, in the margin between this world and the next, plain Ruth Swain is in search of her father. To find him, enfolded in the mystery of ancestors, Ruth must first trace the jutting jaw lines, narrow faces and gleamy skin of the Swains – via leaping salmon, poetry and the three thousand, nine hundred and fifty eight of her father’s books piled high in her bedroom.
It is beautifully written – a story about family, heritage and about life. The river and the rain run poetically through the lovely Ruth’s flowing narrative and the reader is soaked by small village Irish life. Expect to laugh and to cry.
Also a truly gorgeous book about books, which I have a real thing for.
“He had no intention of writing. He loved reading, that was all. And he read books that he thought so far beyond anything that he himself could dream of achieving that any thought of writing instantly evaporated into the certainty of failure.”
AWARDS: Long listed for the Man Booker Prize 2014.