Weathering[Reading] ➽ Weathering Author Lucy Wood – 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 But here her spirit swirls and stays Ada Pearl's daught 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 But here her spirit swirls and stays 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 her own young daughter Pepper She wants to clear out Pearl's 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 leaveAs the first frosts of autumn herald the coming of a long winter and Pepper and Ada find themselves entangled with the life of the valley with new companions who won't be closed out each will discover the ways that places can take root inside us bind us together and become us. It's surreal and eerie a hard and gnawing read at times The three main characters are weathering their personal storms as well as the constant rain in this place somewhere in rural England It's a uiet story in a way except for the river There is an intensity in the thoughts and memories of the characters as well as the rain and the snow stormsThe story begins with Pearl who is trying to get out of the river as her daughter Ada spreads her ashes Ada hasn't seen her mother for thirteen years and returns to this isolated place where she grew up to scatter her mother's ashes and sell the old dilapidated house The story is told through three distinct points of view Pearl yes even though she's dead is alive and well in spirit and is here to tell us her story and there's Ada and her six year old daughter Pepper who owned my heart With beautifully descriptive language and I don't mean in a flowery way Lucy Wood makes you hear and see that river feel the rain and the dampness and believe that Pearl is right there It's about mother daughter relationships love that is genuine even though it doesn't always seem so discovering one's self when it seems you are lost Just so impressive how Wood moves us back and forth through the minds of Pearl Ada and Pepper connecting past and present and linking them through love hardship birds and of course the river It was 45 stars for me and I may make it 5 after I think about it Thanks to Bloomsbury USA and NetGalley Three generations of women all wanting a home a place they feel they belong Ada arrives with her young daughter Pepper back to the house she had left many years ago Her mother Pearl has died and she intends to stay only long enough to put the house in order to sell When I first started reading this the prose was so lovely almost haunting dreamlike it kept me reading still wasn't sure how I felt about the story The descriptions of the river that plays a crucial role in this novel were amazing The wildlife descriptions of the house that needs so much work than even Ada realizes Truthfully this is a slow burner of a book a uiet seducer that creeps up on the reader Not much happens but what does is set against the surroundings the town and pub the few characters that live there Pearl comes back kind of and tells her story a sad one Her love of photography which young Pepper will continue At the end of Chapter 24 there is such a tender moment it almost brought me to tears just a few lines but for me it encapsulated what this novel is relating Love shown in different ways and where you least expect it whether for a person nature or a home Almost without realizing it I came to love this tender exuisitely told story and all its charactersARC from Netgalley Weathering is a beautifully written uiet uirky magical tale of three generations of women Two alive and one somewhere in between Her ashes may be in the river but Pearl hasn’t uite left it or her home and as Ada tries to put her mothers house to rights but keep her past before the birth of her daughter Pepper in her hometown behind her she finds that some places people and memories haunt you and drive you back than you could bargain for I enjoyed it very much This atmospheric debut novel is set in a crumbling house by an English river and stars three generations of women – one of them a ghost Ada has returned to her childhood home after 13 years to scatter her mother Pearl’s ashes sort through her belongings and get the property ready to sell In a sense then this is a haunted house story Yet Wood introduces the traces of magical realism so subtly that they never feel jolting Like the river the novel is fluid moving between the past and present with ease The vivid picture of the English countryside and clear eyed look at family dynamics remind me most of Tessa Hadley The Past and Polly Samson The KindnessNon subscribers can read an excerpt of my review at BookBrowse I have been spellbound by this beguiling and bewitching book; a book that speaks of mothers and daughters of memories and ghosts of the way people and places can hold us and form us and of other thing – fundamental things – that I can’t uite put into wordsThe story that the Lucy Wood spins is uite simpleAda has come home for the first time in thirteen years with her small daughter Pepper in tow She didn’t really want to come but her mother has did and it has fallen to her to go through her mother’s things and to clear the house She had nowhere in particular to go back to she has nowhere in particular to move on to but she doesn’t plan to stayThe house lies deep in a valley that has been carved out by a great river; a river that is replenished by rain that never seems to stopThe house is dilapidated it is isolated and it has no home comforts Ada just wants to do what she has to do and then goBut so many things say that she should stayPepper has never had a place to call home and she is captivated by the house full of relics of her grandmother’s life by the power and the beauty of the river and by the small community that welcomes herPearl Ada’s mother hasn’t uite left the place that was her home for so long and her spirit rises up from the river that has claimed her to reclaim her place in the lives and the memories of her daughter and her granddaughterAnd even Ada herself begins to wonder as she recalls and begins to understand the past and as she is drawn back into the life of the world that she thought she had left behind thirteen years earlierAll of this happens in one time and in one place but the story is timeless and it could play out anywhere in the worldThe world that Lucy Wood creates lives and breathes; and it’s a world where nature is very very close I could feel the rain; I could hear the river The river and all of the life in and around it has much of a place as the people who move through the storyThe story ebbs and flows it moves backwards and forwards in time and it works beautifully One every page there’s an image an idea or a memory and this is a book to read slowly so that you can pause and appreciate every one And so that you can appreciate how profoundly this novel speaks of mothers and daughter how our relationships and the roles that we play evolve how our understanding of each other and the world around us change overtimeThe emotional intensity the clarity and the beauty of the writing is so wonderful I loved Lucy Wood’s voice when I read her short stories and it was so lovely to recognise it as soon as I opened this book and started to read Her voice is distinctive and her prose is glorious and utterly utterly readableThis book explores themes that are close to my heart; I love it for that and I love it for its artistryI’ve read comparisons to authors like Angela Carter and Margaret Atwood I understand them I think they’re fair but I also think that that Lucy Wood isn’t uite like anybody else I think – I hope – that one day she will be held as much as esteem as they areI’ll be very disappointed if I don’t see Lucy Wood’s name when literary prizes are awarded later in this yearI know I’m not wholly objective but I really do think that this book is in that class 375 stars This is a book about three generations of women The youngest is six yo The oldest is no longer alive But I don't want to say she is dead either because her presence is real throughout this story I was drawn into the story right from the start as Ada sprinkles the ashes of Pearl her mother into the river near Pearl's former home as her daughter Pepper asks what she's doing Ada just wants to get the house ready for sale and move on But there's a lot to be done before that can happen and lots of roadblocks are thrown in the way thus the purpose for the novel There is no audio available for this book and so I brought it with me on a trip so I would have time to sit and read it I was very focused on getting to the end so I would know what happened but this isn't really that type of book Some uestions are answered and the ending is satisfactory but this novel is really about the journey than the destination It takes place near a river and moorland both of which almost become characters and all three women are uirky and interesting But there were so many obstacles in Ada's way as she tries to close out her mother's property and move on that the book carried a little too much tension for me Some of the situations 6 yo Pepper was left in drove me crazy as a mom the old home actually reuires wood to be fed into the furnace to provide heat and hot water etc I was looking for a peaceful tale in the British countryside and got a bit tension than I bargained for but this is a good book and it was worth my time for sure There is a lot of figurative language here which I really enjoy and you'll get a good bit of backstory on Pearl's life and see interesting characteristics repeating in the generations Pepper seems like a 10 12 yo than a six yo but it makes the story interesting that she is the way she is I think if you're in the mood for a multi generational story told beautifully with interesting uirky characters and you enjoy the British countryside you'll probably enjoy this one too Happy reading She spent a long time finding the right spot the correct angle of light complicated colours something to frame the shots with in the background Then she set up the tripod selected a lens attached it and set the aperture and focus And then waited And waited Why did she do this? But she knew why She could remember exactly why even now For the way time seemed to slow down and stretch measured in the river's ripples rather than by clocks and mealtimes For the invisibility For the hush To forget To make some sort of record but of what she wasn't sure exactly To notice things she wouldn't otherwise have noticed dragonflies hunting the patterns of light the specific way that water poured over a dipper's back page 124It has been thirteen years since Ada has seen the house on the river where she grew up alone with her mother Pearl Now she has returned with Pepper her six year old daughter to this damp and derelict place but as she's uick to point out to local folk she's only here to settle her mother's affairs sell the house and move on as soon as possibleThe first thing Ada and Pepper do is to scatter Pearl's ashes on the water Pearl however is not ready to leave There are things she too needs to settle A watery elemental spirit she creeps from the river and makes her presence known to her daughter and granddaughter up at the house She recognizes now how isolated and confused her life had been in those final months Sinking into a form of dementia in part from lack of society she had refused to answer the phone or even respond to knocks at the door Luke her closest neighbour had kept an eye out for her accompanying her to the hospital when her wrists and fingers could no longer flex to perform the jewelry and watch repairs that had earned her a meager living Now she needs to be with the remaining two members of her family before taking final leave Pearl's appearance does not startle or unsettle Ada or Pepper She guides her granddaughter in the use of the camera left behind and encourages her interest in the birds that live on and near the river Pearl's artistic passion for the creatures is evident in the framed photographs that line the lower hallway of the house To Ada Pearl communicates her understanding that the life they lived beside the river was isolated unusual and difficult She knows why her daughter decided to leave There is no bitternessDetermined though Ada is to clear out Pearl's things and sort through all the paperwork expeditiously the house has other ideas raising endless impediments Just keeping herself and her daughter warm fed and clean is a time intensive business for Ada The house has a primitive heating system that involves feeding wood into a boiler for heat and warm water Due to disrepair and turbulent weather rain hail and snow the power and telephone service are freuently down The nearest shop is some distance away and Pearl's rusty old car is hardly reliable Coping with the place and weathering the ongoing fall and winter storms make Ada appreciate the hardships her mother faced She also comes to terms with her guilt about not returning earlier to see Pearl before her death News spreads uickly that Ada is back and she finds herself working at the local pub something she did as a younger woman An excellent and creative cook she is soon in some demand at the establishment and the money is helpful She is attracted to a sympathetic younger man who assists her with repairs to the house uite naturally it seems she is becoming embroiled in exactly the ways she vowed she wouldn't beWild storms wind rain flooding the elements are powerful players in Lucy Wood's poetic novel Like her mother before her Ada is changed weathered by her time in the rundown house near the chuntering river that muscles its way through the valley So is PepperWood has written a highly atmospheric impressive first novel Having said that I should add that it is not for everyone First of all there is not much of a plot here Most of the book turns on how Ada and Pepper face the difficulties of living in a house so worn down by the elements Further while the author does provide some of Pearl's backstory telling how and why she first came to the house and how she felt about the place at the beginning I would've liked to know about the time before the isolated valley I wish the author had offered this instead of dwelling uite so much on Pearl's end how she is almost cosmically absorbed back into the larger impersonal natural world In the end Weathering is not so much a novel of incident as an extended prose poem albeit one with fully fleshed out characters I believe fans of Emily Bronte would like this book as well as readers of Jon McGregor who I understand has been a mentor to Wood I look forward to seeing what she does next Beautiful uiet book about the relationship between three generations of women living or having lived in a remote cottage Wonderful language about the river and the weather Not a strong narrative but that didn't matter too much Weathering is a meandering almost dream like novel in which a mother and daughter Ada and Pepper return temporarily to the decaying and isolated home of Ada’s recently deceased mother Pearl The cottage resists all attempts at renovation as the damp of the adjacent river and the constant rain and snow intrude on a daily basis and the ghost of Pearl seems to haunt every last corner – literally and figuratively The relationships between three generations of women are explored as they constantly repeat and reflect one another and attempt to come to some sort of peace with themselves each other and their surroundingsI absolutely loved Weathering but if you’re looking for a novel with pace and plot you may want to give this one a miss the characters’ journeys are slow and difficult and the narrative is rich with descriptive detail to the point where the house and the river on which it stands are really characters in themselves This is a book with an incredible sense of place and atmosphere and of the effect that one's environment can have on the psyche Rarely have I read a book which has given me such a strong almost physical sense of its locationIt’s also a brilliant character study of three women Six year old Pepper is difficult child excluded from multiple schools prone to fits of temper and full of blunt uestions She’s capable of developing a fierce fondness for people yet has little idea how to express this; at the start of the novel she repeatedly butts at Ada's hip rather than giving her a hug and her disappointment when a feral cat refuses to return her love is poignant Ada herself back in the very place from which she spent her whole life planning her escape seems inept and irresponsible at times; nonetheless it’s clear that she’s simply trying to do her best under challenging circumstances Cooking is one of the ways that she not only shows affection and helps herself to feel under control but also the means through which she begins to find some sort of niche in a village stricken by rural decline She is also full of guilt at leaving her mother alone – a guilt that’s encapsulated in the blood stains on the floor from her mother’s fatal fallPearl herself whose death has brought Ada and Pepper back to the house in the first place begins Weathering as a ghost trapped in the treacherous river and yet her plight is extraordinarily physical as she struggles against the current and the weeds Gradually she fights her way back to the house and makes her presence known in a way that Ada doesn't seem to find surprising; we’re almost straying into magical realism here albeit in a remarkably unwhimsical mannerThere’s a suggestion that runs through Weathering that only through memory will Ada and Pearl manage to repair their relationship as each of them dwells on their years living in the cottage together and on Pearl’s unorthodox approach to motherhood They don’t explicitly discuss this – their interactions are small and few – but in the environment of the cottage in which the memories of years past seem to be as deeply ingrained in the walls as the ever present damp they seem to be reconciled Pepper a child whose life so far has lacked continuity and belonging takes to photographing things as physical record of memory only to be utterly devastated when she discovers that her camera lacks a filmThe idea of someone coming to a particular place hating it and then gradually finding happiness by making it their own is not a new one However Weathering presents the idea in a way I haven’t seen before full of ambiguity and freuent unease There is a strong sense that the battle against the climate and the isolation will never be won that the house will never be comfortable and dry and that its occupants can only accept rather than overcome this situation Pepper is as drawn to the river and its bird life as Pearl was before her and is enchanted by observing them but never is the landscape romanticised – indeed the river’s unpredictable currents and sudden rises in water level are a constant threat Watching the birds means being cold and wet entangled and scratched by vegetation Similarly every tiny thing at the cottage whether it's getting the radiators going making a journey in Pearl's old car or even just painting a wall presents an exhausting challenge There is no moment when Ada and Pepper finally triumph in their struggle with the house; when a leak in the roof is fixed it simply reappears elsewhereAs a portrait of rural life Weathering is similarly uncompromising Ada’s former school friends Judy and Robbie are struggling to keep their farm running the local pub is freuently empty and serves terrible frozen meals; the village shop is exploitatively expensive devoid of fresh produce and sells bottled water and bad firewood at inflated prices when the pipes freeze over the winter And yet somehow this is where Ada and Pepper realise that they belongWeathering is a beautifully written vivid and captivating novel bittersweet and occasionally surprisingly funny There is a sense of melancholy about it but ultimately I found it strangely life affirming I received a copy of this beautiful book in the April 2016 subscription box from Book and a BrewIt is always interesting when you read a book that has been chosen for you as part of a subscription box as the release of this would have probably passed me by and I wouldn't have even considered reading it despite its' gorgeous coverBut it has been a fascinating and evocative read about 3 generations of women and their connection to a run down house in the middle of the woods cut off from the real world and at the mercy of nature and its' surroundingsIt was a really slow paced book so if you're looking for an incident packed story then this is not for you but if you enjoy a story told with beautiful descriptions of its setting and a fascinating look at 3 different characters and their past present and future then I'd highly recommend this AT times i think the characters get a little lost in the slow pace of the book as there is no real destination to their journeys but it is fascinating to view the world through their eyes and how they seesaw the world they lived in and all their hopes and fears brought to lifePearl Ada and Pepper are 3 very interesting characters and this is what makes this book so intriguing Pepper was my favourite though as her innocence shone through in how she behaved and acted

Hardcover  Ù Weathering PDF/EPUB ¼
  • Hardcover
  • 304 pages
  • Weathering
  • Lucy Wood
  • 07 November 2016
  • 9781632863577