Adult book reviews, Book Reviews

Summerwater by Sarah Moss – ARC Review


My Rating ~ Two Stars

RELEASE DATE:  20 August 2020

Format: E-ARC

Pages: 208

Publisher: Pan Macmillan




On the longest day of the summer, twelve people sit cooped up with their families in a faded Scottish cabin park. The endless rain leaves them with little to do but watch the other residents.

A woman goes running up the Ben as if fleeing; a retired couple reminisce about neighbours long since moved on; a teenage boy braves the dark waters of the loch in his red kayak. Each person is wrapped in their own cares but increasingly alert to the makeshift community around them. One particular family, a mother and daughter without the right clothes or the right manners, starts to draw the attention of the others. Tensions rise and all watch on, unaware of the tragedy that lies ahead as night finally falls.




Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for providing me with a copy of Summerwater, in exchange for an honest review


I think I’m going to be in the minority here, but this book really wasn’t for me.  I have an inbuilt need to be entertained – especially when I’m reading – and Summerwater was one of those books where….nothing happened.  Several people are residing in the same cabin park, some on holidays, some living there, and Summerwater follows snippets of each of their, to be honest, mundane lives.  I had assumed that at some point all their stories would tangle together and culminate in an explosive ending, and although I think that’s what the author tried to do, by the time I got to the ending, it didn’t feel explosive, shocking or even particularly interesting.  It just ended in a way that left too many questions unanswered and me wondering if pages had been accidentally left out.  For such a short book, the story seemed to ramble endlessly with no real purpose, giving me just enough background on each character to know something about them, but not enough for me to care about or connect to them in any way, then suddenly it was at an abrupt end.  There were also some icky racist remarks towards a child, that were never really called out, nor did they add anything of substance to the story.

I know this is one that seems to be loved by many people, but unfortunately I just didn’t get it.






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