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Review by Ilse Scheepers
Kathryn Heyman has written a provocative, gripping tale of lust, control and the hatred that masquerades as love in this dazzling novel.
Centred around the world of freediving, it had me constantly pausing to take a breath, relax my shoulders, and shake off the feelings of claustrophobia and terror I felt as the relationship between Storm and Grace spiralled down, down, down into the dark, pressing depths of obsession and danger.
Heyman writes with an unflinching eye to the harmful lies we tell young women about the form love takes, and what to expect from a suitor. A timely, unsettling read.
Their love knows no limits - but the further you go, the more dangers there are. Love becomes obsession and lust becomes control. A riveting thriller in the tradition of Gone Girl and Before I Go to Sleep.
... she is screaming, the way he wanted, the way he promised she would ...
World-famous freediver Storm Hisray hits Grace Cain like a bolt from the blue. Instantly smitten, she abandons her life in the city to follow him to his idyllic Pacific island. There he teaches Grace the ways of the deep, and she learns to sink to unimaginable depths on one single breath. As their world narrows to the two of them, she learns, too, the exquisite pleasures of her body – but also that Storm hides as many secrets as the sea.
As he pushes Grace further and further beyond her limits – both in and out of the water – her resistance grows, but so does Storm’s need to control her. With a secret of her own to protect, Grace starts to realise that she is in deeper and more dangerous water than she has ever imagined possible.
Brilliant, mesmerising, incendiary and haunting, Storm and Grace explores the dazzling thrill of the deep, and the terrors that lie in its shadows.
About the Author
Kathryn Heyman is the author of five novels, including Floodline, The Accomplice and Captain Starlight's Apprentice, published internationally and in translation. She has received an Arts Council of England Writer's Award, the Wingate and the Southern Arts Awards, and been nominated for the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Scottish Writer of the Year Award, the Edinburgh Fringe Critics' Award, the Kibble Literary Award, and the West Australian Premier's Book Awards. She has written several radio plays for BBC radio, including adaptations of her own work and is the director of the Australian Writers Mentoring Program.
“Storm and Grace is a novel that seduces, murmuring in your ear, taking you into its own depths, shutting out the world so that you and the writer are the last humans in it. Artfully entwining the conventions of romantic fiction with ancient myth, ghostly voices and a rolling cloud of incoming doom, Kathryn Heyman has crafted a remarkable novel that compresses and concentrates its power before exploding with a terrible, urgent truth: love and death, the closer they get the bottom of the ocean, are inseparable. Read it and you will not forget it.” Malcolm Knox, author of The Wonder Lover
“Dark, sexy, haunting – this important and timely novel is a masterful dissection of a dazzling, dangerous relationship and Heyman at her most provocative and unputdownable.” Jill Dawson, bestselling author of The Crime Writer
“Thrilling, sensual and unsparing, Storm and Grace taps the deep reservoirs of myth to reveal the secret violence that moves just beneath the surface of the everyday.” James Bradley, critic and author of Clade
In Storm and Grace, Kathryn Heyman skewers the Western world’s teachings to young women about love. We watch, holding our breath, dread building, as Grace dreams and self-deludes her way through Storm’s star performance of love… all laid out in a beguiling setting of tropical beauty. Heyman deploys, maintains and contains a magnificent rage in this novel of modern courtship and age-old power games.” Margo Lanagan, NYT Bestselling author of Sea Hearts
‘Storm and Grace took my breath away in all of its parts: the poetry of its sentences; the sensory richness of its moments; the depths and turns of its story; and the powerful revelation of whose voices had carried me to its end. Both beguiling and brutal, it navigates an extraordinary balance between an exquisite delicacy and the potentially vast and pummelling forces of any extremity.’ Ashley Hay, author of The Railwayman’s Wife
“Reading Storm and Grace is like being submerged in the deep blue: enthralled, dazed, dazzled. Kathryn Heyman brilliantly demonstrates how easy it is to slip and slide from toughness to recklessness, faith to dependency, desire to possessiveness, passion to obsession.” Emily Maguire, author of An Isolated Incident
Number Of Pages: 360
Published: 1st February 2017
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3