Below Deck, by Sophie Hardcastle (A&U March 2020)

Neil's picture

This novel comes incredibly highly regarded from almost everybody who has read it, and I can understand why: it's compelling, thought provoking, confronting and poetic. It follows the experiences of a young woman, Olivia, whose life has come adrift until she falls in with an elderly couple who teach her the joys of sailing, and she comes to love the open seas and the freedom that comes with it. Then, a shocking event changes everything. If you like Jodi Picoult and Liane Moriarty, you'll love this, but I do have reservations. It's not as nuanced and subtle as it could have been, but it is still a damn fine read.