Summerwater sang to me. It is lyrical and poetic, and I’m definitely not one to read poetry. But Sarah Moss’s writing is exquisitely real, down to earth in its elegant way, spot-on when it comes to insights, one after the other, regarding common everyday living.
It’s an interesting story, a novella really, that takes place in a single day in a community of summer cabins on the shore of an isolated Scottish loch. It’s been raining all week, and the strain of that, coming during what is for most of the characters a costly vacation, has begun to show.
Each chapter focuses on a different person, from a different family, in a different cabin. And there are threads of connection between them, often a shared sense of disappointment in lives that have not turned out as planned.
Style-wise, Summerwater is artistic. Content-wise, I found it lacking. Much as I loved each individual chapter as a short story, the connections between them and their subjects were too tenuous for me to grasp. But then, I’m more a novel person than a novella one.
Frankly, I wanted to know more about each of the characters. There just wasn’t enough.
That said, I appreciated Summerwater for the prose alone. And the Audible reader did an exquisite job, elevating my experience from three stars to four.
I do recommend this book — as long as you know what you’re buying. I had expected a novel and got, instead, a collection of short stories that were linked and beautiful, but ultimately, too short.