Summerwater by Sarah Moss

Hello bookish friends!  Today it’s my pleasure to be sharing my #WhatsTurningMyPages review of Summerwater by Sarah Moss with you! ✨


From the acclaimed author of Ghost Wall, Summerwateris a devastating story told over twenty-four hours in the Scottish highlands, and a searing exploration of our capacity for both kinship and cruelty in these divided times.

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.


My Thoughts


Summerwater is slim book which immediately drew me to it because of it’s beautiful cover and its thoroughly intriguing premise.


This book is essentially a collection of individual stories by different characters holidaying at a park next to a Scottish Loch, whose lives are brought together in the concluding pages.  But it is also so much more than that! It had me sniggering and chortling from the beginning; as Moss cleverly and humorously examined and laid bare some of the inhabitants’ traits and behaviours.  It was definitely one of those books which had me itching to whip out the highlighter!


The language used throughout, is so perfectly poetic; so lyrical and beautiful and of a calibre that should be read aloud and proudly.  I particularly enjoyed Moss’s razor sharp observation of the nature surrounding the Loch.  The connection of the characters and the story to the immediate environment vibrated strongly throughout the book and the link and closeness and intensity  of the flora and fauna to the goings on really added to the building tension.


Without giving too much away, the individual tales weave together and culminate in a final explosive chapter.  Dramatic isn’t strong enough to describe the shock waves that emanate from Moss’s final words in the book; without warning she unapologetically plunges everything into darkness and I was genuinely left gobsmacked and felt as if I’d been punched in the face (but in a good way 😉). To say the ending was unexpected would be a complete understatement!


Painfully clever, stunningly sharp and oozing nature’s beauty and menace; Summerwater is the book that gave me literary whiplash and I’ll be thinking about it for a long, long time.


Summerwater is out on 20th August (available to preorder now), and my thanks go to Camilla Elworthy and Picador for sending my beautiful proof copy.


Until next time! Have a wonderful day!





Published by Mrs Cooke

👩🏽‍💻📚I read and shout 📣 about books 👯‍♀️owner of 2 book-loving Littles 🌳village dweller ✍️stationery fiend 🍸gin enthusiast 📩DM for reviews etc 💌

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