‘Under the cathartic spell of the sea, and with a little help from a retired magician, a young woman learns how to rebuild her life’
Today I join the blog tour for quite a moving debut Let Me Be Like Water by S.K. Perry. Just published with Melville House UK, it is described as being ‘simultaneously about nothing and everything, of loneliness and friendship’
It a book that will affect people in many different ways, as it deals with grief and the loss associated with the passing of a loved one.
Let Me Be Like Water is a book that carries hope in it’s pages…
Please do read on for my thoughts….
About The Book:
A beautifully poignant and poetic debut about love, loss, friendship, and ultimately, starting over.
Twenty-something Holly has moved to Brighton to escape. But now she’s here, sitting on a bench, listening to the sea sway… How is she supposed to fill the void her boyfriend left when he died, leaving her behind?She had thought she’d want to be on her own, but when she meets Frank, a retired magician who has experienced his own loss, the tide begins to shift.
A moving and powerful debut, Let Me Be Like Water is a book about the humdrum and extraordinariness of everyday life; of lost and new connections; of loneliness and friendship.
Let Me Be Like Water is a book that follows the grieving of a young girl, Holly. After a tragic accident took the life of her boyfriend Sam, Holly is unable to cope with all that is familiar in London. Everywhere she turns she sees Sam. On every paving stone, in every passing scene, for Holly, Sam will always be present.
In a brave move, Holly moves to Brighton, to be near the sea and to seek isolation and seclusion from all that she knows. Her family, her friends, Sam’s family, are all too difficult for Holly to be around. Each stir up memories that she is just unable to cope with, as Holly feels like life has given up on her. She moves into shared rental accommodation and roams the streets of Brighton by night and by day, searching for something that will take the pain away, something that will make life worth living again.
As Holly sits and watches the push and pull of the sea, she is joined by an elderly man, Frank, a retired magician with his own tale to tell. His mannerisms and general demeanor exude warmth and comfort and it’s not long before Holly finds herself less distracted by her thoughts and almost enjoying being in his company. Frank invites Holly to a book club he’s involved with, no pressure attached. Her decision. Her choice. Initially Holly is unsure and skeptical about meeting new people, but she takes the plunge and joins the company of this whole new bunch of folk for one evening. Holly soon discovers that she is not the only one with a story to tell, as each of the members of the book club all seem to carry some personal trauma close to their hearts.
Let Me Be Like Water is a book divided into four sections, defined by the four seasons. As time passes we witness very subtle transformations in Holly’s demeanor. We walk beside her on her journey, as she passes through, the very beautifully written, steps of grieving. Sam was her soulmate, the man she had intended spending her life with. Being robbed of his love and his touch is unbearable for Holly, but with the help and support of this new bunch of friends, Holly begins to live a little again. Over the year, her behaviour becomes quite self-destructive and almost wanton, as she craves something, someone, anyone to take away the pain that accompanies her grief. She drinks way too much, she goes off on regrettable one-night stands, all in an attempt to erase the pain of Sam’s death.
Watching Holly, at such a young age, trying to cope with these feelings is heartrending. She is a young girl in her prime with her whole life ahead, and yet here she is, lost in Brighton, with a few cleaning jobs and a few piano-teaching lessons, to sustain her through the long days and even longer nights.
Holly has a very strong connection with the water, as she compares many parts of her life to the ebb and flow of the sea. The pull is very strong for Holly, but with the support and enlightening words from Frank and her new friends, Holly learns how to survive.
Over the years I have read Paulo Coelho and Mitch Albom books and S.K. Perry’s writing reminds a little of those. Let Me Be Like Water is a tale of grief, but it is also a tale of hope. Unfortunately, we will all experience grief in our lives for someone we have loved and lost to illness or accident or old age. We all will travel on our own personal journey, have our own very personal experience. If we are lucky enough, like Holly, we will meet our own Frank, someone who will help us to understand and come to terms with our grief.
Let Me Be Like Water is a snapshot in time, over one year, as we journey beside Holly as she learns to cope with loss and learns how to begin to love herself again. It is at times heartbreaking, at times quite raw, but also packed with warmth, humour and friendship. A really lovely debut from a new author.
Purchase Link ~ Let Me Be Like Water
S.K. PERRY was shortlisted for the Mslexia Award and longlisted for London’s Young Poet Laureate, and was a resident artist at the Roundhouse in Camden and a City read Young Writer in Residence.
She runs creative writing projects that develop emotional literacy, and explore mental health, memory, and healing from violence and she set up the Great Men project, which trains men to talk to teenage boys about gender equality and healthy relationships in school workshops.
She lives in Brixton, London. Let Me Be Like Water is her debut novel.
Website ~ https://sk-perry.com/
Twitter ~ @_sarah_perry