Plug of the month (3) – ‘As if I were a river’ by Amanda Saint.

9781910692639

This plug is LONG overdue. Amanda was kind enough to host my post on ‘Echo Hall’ earlier this year. I had intended to return the favour with a post here when the book came out in the summer. Alas! Time has run away with me,  and I never managed it, but at least it means I can give it a shout in time for Christmas.

‘As if I were a river’ (Utbane Publications) tells the stories of three generations of women: Kate, her mother Laura, and grandmother Una. When Kate’s husband Jimmy walks out one evening and doesn’t return, Kate’s carefully constructed world collapses. Not only does the incident trigger memories of her mother’s disappearance 25 years previously, but she is forced to call into question everything she’s ever believed about her relationship.

When Laura falls for a much older man, her parents disapprove, but then tragedy strikes, leading her to rush into marriage and motherhood. Stifled by domesticity, she begins to yearn for another life, resulting in her making a choice that threatens the stability of her family.

Una seems to be the perfect matriarch, but she has secrets of her own, and what does she really know about Laura’s disappearance?

Amanda is a great writer, who uses these three intertwined stories to explore themes of selfhood, personal autonomy versus responsibility, and redemption. Kate’s unravelling is particularly well drawn, whilst Laura’s struggle to maintain a sense of self when drowned in the needs of her children is also totally believable.

This is a great debut, published by an up and coming indie press. Well worth your support.

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