In Claire-Louise Bennett's shimmering debut, an unnamed young woman-wry, somewhat misanthropic, keenly observant-chronicles her life on the outskirts of a small coastal village. The charms of bananas and oatcakes in the morning and Spanish oranges after sex; the small pleasures and anxieties of throwing a party, exchanging salacious emails with a new lover, sitting in the bath as it storms outside. Broken oven knobs prompt a meditation on survival that's both haunting and playful; a sunset walk leads to an unsettling encounter with a herd of cows; the discovery of an old letter recalls an impossible affair.
Sidestepping the usual conventions of narrative, Pond refracts the narrator's uncannily intimate experience in the details of daily life, rendered sometimes in story-like stretches, sometimes in fragments, and suffused with the almost synesthetic intensity of the physical world as we remember it from childhood. As her persona emerges in all its particularity, sometimes painfully and often hilariously, we cannot help seeing mirrored there our own fraught longings, our own fugitive desire, despite everything, to be known.
Enchanting and unusual, Pond will linger long after the last page.
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by C.J. Archer
by Julie McElwain
by Emilia Ferguson
by John Guy
by Lynn Messina
by M.C. Beaton
by Carola Dunn
by Disney Press
by Jane Stain
"This unconventional audiobook challenges the listener to be open, inquisitive, and patient. While Lucy Rayner's narration is lovely in its oddly engaging detachment, the novel itself lacks a traditional linear plot. Instead, one must be content to immerse oneself in a series of loosely connected stories about an unnamed narrator whose untethered thoughts meander from observations to inspirations to regrets. Rayner's performance creates a solitary personality: a sometimes accessible and likable narrator and sometimes inscrutable and unknowable one. Adding more of a pause between the stories would aid the listener; as is, the brisk delivery adds to the stream-of-consciousness flow. Rayner's adept vocal performance and Bennett's intriguing prose make for an interesting listen for dedicated listeners. L.B.F. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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