From the critically acclaimed, award-winning author of Diving Belles: a beautifully bewitching novel of memories, mothers, ghosts and daughters
Pearl doesn't know how she's ended up in the river - the same messy, cacophonous river in the same rain-soaked valley she'd been stuck in for years. Or why, for that matter, she'd been stupid enough to fall down those rickety stairs.
Ada, Pearl's daughter, doesn't know how she's ended up back in the house she left thirteen years ago - with no heating apart from a fire she can't light, no way of getting around apart from an old car she's scared to drive, and no company apart from echoing footsteps on the damp floorboards. With her daughter Pepper, she starts to sort through Pearl's things, clearing the house so she can leave and not look back. Pepper has grown used to following her restless mother from place to place, but this house, with its faded photographs, its boxes of cameras and its stuffed jackdaw, is something new. Fascinated by the scattering of people she meets, by the river that unfurls through the valley, and by the strange old woman who sits on the bank with her feet in the cold, coppery water, Pepper doesn't know why anyone would ever want to leave.
As the first frosts of autumn herald the coming of a long winter and Pepper and Ada find themselves irresistibly entangled with the life of the valley, each will discover the ways that places can take root inside us and bind us together.
About the Author
Lucy Wood is the author of a critically acclaimed collection of short stories based on Cornish folklore Diving Belles and Other Stories. She has been longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize and was a runner-up in the BBC National Short Story Award. She has also been awarded the Holyer an Gof Award and a Somerset Maugham Award. Lucy Wood has a master's degree in creative writing from Exeter University. She lives in Devon.
Deeply poetic; dreamy and thought-provoking * Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat * An emotionally mature consideration of generational love, loss and change * Michele Roberts, author of Daughters of the House * Wood beautifully renders a landscape by turns rain-soaked and snow-laden, using it to suffuse her debut novel with a tense atmosphere of impending disaster. The author has a gift for capturing how humans are bound to and moulded by places * Sunday Times * Five stars ... Wood has created a work as intricately detailed as one of the delicate pieces of jewellery that Pearl used to restore ... Wood is a creator of worlds. This sodden river valley is one to savour * Daily Telegraph * A beautifully observed study of mothers and daughters, loss and recovery, that never puts a foot wrong * Sarah Waters, Guardian, Best Reads of 2015 * Prize-winning Lucy Wood's Diving Belles and Other Stories introduced a lyrical and distinctive voice and received rave reviews. Weathering, her first novel, weaves ever deeper connections between myth, fantasy and the everyday * Daily Mail * Beautiful ... The river and the house are wonderfully drawn and the voices of the characters, unforgettable * The Times * No bald description of Wood's extraordinary novel can do justice to its lyrical prose and bold storytelling. An imaginative tour de force * Mail on Sunday * Weathering is a beautiful novel on every level. Firstly in the writing with Wood's clear and wonderfully descriptive prose. I swear I felt shivery when reading about the cold damp house ... A joy to read, the story strikes a chord, not just because of the relationships between the women, but for anyone who has ever escaped a small town, only to find themselves inexplicably pulled back **** * Stylist * Wood's novel manages to bring inventive descriptions to the universal ... The mother-daughter relationships are brilliantly described ... Pepper brings light to the narrative, with dialogue that is convincing and funny * Irish Times * Wood interweaves the ordinary and surreal to terrific effect * Independent on Sunday * Superlatives abound for Wood's debut novel ... Powerful ... Quietly absorbing * Sunday Times * What sets this novel apart is its extraordinary treatment of the rural setting. It is both uncanny and pitilessly realist ... Such a treatment requires formidable descriptive powers, which Wood possesses in spades ... One of Wood's great strengths is the ability to fully inhabit her characters' consciousness. She skilfully modifies her prose as she moves from one mind to another, leaving her vividly descriptive passages with snippets of speech or thought, wittily profane and colloquial ... Its power lies in the gradual accrual of unnerving detail, as irresistible as a Dorset river in spate. Once immersed, you can see no more escape its pull than Pearl can climb out of the rivers current. On closing the book, I half expected to find my clothes were chill and damp, and that, behind the curtain, there stood a crotchety ghost, fretting for her daughter and blowing her nose * Guardian * It has all the hallmarks of a classic haunted house novel ... Wood's command of language and imagery verges on the sensational. The rural setting has a beauty - herons merge with wet stones, crushed grass and mist - but it's incredibly hard-won ... A beautiful book about family, history and nature * Observer *