Book Review | Saltwater by Jessica Andrews

Hey Everyone,

I am back with another review. I will have to admit that so far I am four books behind on my Goodreads and I am not allowing it get it into my head. I mean I have noticed that I am not reading every single day and I am not sure if it is the book or my lack of interest in the book. I think that the Goodreads Reading Challenge has always been on my mind ever since I first participated and I know my capability but the fact I am tracking it has made me look at with pressure and urgency that it has lost all meaning to enjoy reading. I might be babaling but it has changed my perspective on my reading.

Swiftly moving on, onto the book.

Saltwater by Jessica Andrews

Lucy is lost. Growing up in the north east she wanted more. When others were thinking about the Nissan factory or call centres she was thinking about Pete Doherty, poetry and the possibilities London seemed to offer. University was the way out, her ticket to the promised land – where she’d become a shinier version of herself, where her nights would be gigs and parties and long exciting conversations about Judith Butler.

But once she gets there Lucy can’t help feeling that the big city isn’t for her, and once again she is striving, only this time it’s for the right words, the right clothes, the right foods. No matter what she tries she’s not right. Until she is. In that last year of her degree the city opens up to her, she is saying the right things, doing the right things. Until her parents visit for her graduation and events show her that her life has always been about pretending and now she’s lost all sense of who she is and what she’s supposed to be doing.

And so Lucy packs up her things and leaves again, this time for her dead Irish grandfather’s stone cottage in a remote part of Donegal. There, alone, she sets about piecing together her history hoping that in confronting where she came from she will know where she should be going. Saltwater is a novel about growing up, about class, about how where we come from shapes who we become, and about the aimless periods we all go through. And it’s about the north east, mothers and daughters, history and pre-destiny.

Published: 16th May 2019

Published Edition: 19th May 2019

Publishers: Sceptre

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary

Pages: 295

Format of Reading: Hardback

Goodreads Star Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Review

When I first saw this book it was around summer time, so it has been with me for some time and when I first read a couple of pages, you are introduced to this character at two different parts in her life. Her life as an adult living in London and as a young girl living with her Mother and Father. Her adult life is mundane in the city, going to work, rushing, coffee making until she gets a phone call from her Mum telling her that her Irish Grandfather has passed away. Lucy immediately flies to Ireland and helps her Mum with the funeral arrangements and sorting out her Grandfather’s home. Lucy decides to stay in her Grandfathers home for a couple of more weeks and she soon starts to love the life in Ireland.

While during her stay in her Grandfather’s home, you learn about her life and upbringing. You learn that her Mother is a hopeless romantic but cannot find the right man for her while her Father is an alcoholic and tends to disappear for long amounts time. And also Lucy’s little brother Josh who is also deaf. This family is really dysfunctional and while you only see the bad stuff, the good memories are overshadowed. I feel bad for the Lucy’s Mum, to find love and to lose him over alcohol, to even escape to Ireland for the school holiday in fear of this man, my heart breaks for her but also to Lucy because she had to see it all. I think the point where I felt so entraped with this book is the father’s disappearance at Lucy’s Graduation, the fear of him actually might be gone was something I, Lucy and her Mum didn’t want to happen but he relief over finding him alive showed how much it ment to them that he was still family regardless of his prescence, the relationship may be over but the love in family will never change.

While at first you are seeing both the past and present through the short chapters it didn’t feel out of place. It’s just flowed very easily and you didn’t have to wait long for the next chapter. The chapters felt more like a diary, it reminded me of Louise Rennision and her Georgia Nicolson series. The book is beautifully written, I felt very entranced in this book and it was an enjoyable read. I will have to say that there are some really good relatable moments and I feel like it should be mentioned because men and women can relate to any of the characters in this book. Whether you feel lost, escaping that would could make you see things in a bigger light and I think that is how Lucy feels, the life in the city and feeling to try and fit into the world wasn’t working and staying in Ireland helped her alot, helped her to breathe as well.

I hoped you liked this review, I really liked the book and I wanted to gush over it. I don’t usually go for Contemporary but it is a good place to escape from the fantasy books that I read.

I hope you are having a lovely day and I’ll see you soon xx

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