Nominated by:

Timaru District Libraries, New Zealand

Publisher of nominated edition:

Viking Penguin, USA


Lucy Wood      

2017 Longlist

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.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Lucy Wood is the author of a critically acclaimed collection of short stories based on Cornish folklore Diving Belles. 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. Weathering was shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize 2016

Librarian’s Comments

Weathering is an atmospheric, haunting tale of the relationships and connections between people and place. Lucy Wood has crafted an evocative, pervading feeling of the presence, spirit and essence of the river which has a strong, central role flowing throughout the book. The influence of the river, the weather and seasons has a resonance within the relationships of the people who live in proximity to the river. In particular, three generations of mothers and daughters, one of whom is a ghost. They are shaped and influenced by the environment of the river, the valley in which they live and their own personal storms while seeking a sense of belonging on many levels. A captivating read.

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