I’m going to start today’s post – which should have been a review of Underwater Breathing by Cassandra Parkin, published by Legend Press on 3rd May – with an apology. I love Cassandra’s writing – you’ll see I’ve previously read and loved Lily’s House and The Winter’s Child, and you can catch up with my interview with the author here – and I was really looking forward to reading this book. But I’m also aware how very powerful and emotive her words can be. When friends told me that the dementia content could be hard for me to read, given my personal situation, I thought it might perhaps be better to leave the book for a while: I’ll very much look forward to reading it when I feel more able to enjoy it. My thanks to Legend Press for my reading copy of the book: there have already been some wonderful reviews, and you’ll find many from the other excellent bloggers involved in the blog tour.
Let’s take a closer look at the book…
On Yorkshire’s gradually-crumbling mud cliffs sits an Edwardian seaside house. In the bathroom, Jacob and Ella hide from their parents’ passionate arguments by playing the ‘Underwater Breathing’ game – until the day Jacob wakes to find his mother and sister gone.
Years later, the sea’s creeping closer, his father is losing touch with reality and Jacob is trapped in his past. Then, Ella’s sudden reappearance forces him to confront his fractured childhood. As the truth about their parents emerges, it’s clear that Jacob’s time hiding beneath the water is coming to an end.
Cassandra Parkin stuns in her latest dark fiction, focusing on what constructs family dynamics and what happens when they fall apart. ￼￼￼￼￼
My thanks to Legend Press for allowing me to share the book’s first chapter – a tad longer than my usual extracts, so you’ll find it here, and I do hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did…
About the author
Cassandra Parkin grew up in Hull, and now lives in East Yorkshire. Her short story collection, New World Fairy Tales (Salt Publishing, 2011), won the 2011 Scott Prize for Short Stories. Her work has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies.
The Summer We All Ran Away (Legend Press, 2013) was Cassandra’s debut novel and nominated for the Amazon Rising Stars 2014.
Legend Press have also published The Beach Hut (2015), Lily’s House (2016) and The Winter’s Child (2017).