Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for this beautiful book. Many thanks to Nikki Griffiths for inviting me to read Let Me Be Like Water and to be on the tour.
About this book…
Holly moved to Brighton to escape her grief over the death of her boyfriend, Sam. But now she is here, sitting on a bench, listening to the sea sway… what is supposed to happen next?
The solitude she had so craved leaves her feeling wrecked. Stranded. But after she meets Frank, the tide begins to shift. Frank, a retired magician who has experienced his own loss but manages to be there for everyone else. Gradually, as he introduces Holly to a circle of new friends, young and old, all with their own stories of love and grief to share, she begins to learn to live again.
A moving and powerful debut, Let Me Be Like Water is a book simultaneously about nothing and everything: about the humdrum yet extraordinariness of everyday life; of lost and new connections; of loneliness and friendship.
This is a short book (just over 200 pages) and with very short chapters as well, so somehow it becomes impossible not to get swept along in the tide of words that flow through the pages. Before you know it, Holly’s journey is over and you are left a little bereft yourself as you leave her, her story ending but really only just beginning.
Holly has moved to Brighton in an attempt to escape London after her boyfriend Sam dies. She meets magician Frank, who then introduces her to a group of people who become her friends. This isn’t a fast paced read, full of action or secrets, it’s just the beautifully expressed, everyday world of a grieving young woman trying to make sense of life and death. Everyone is touched by the loss of loved ones at some point in our lives but we all deal with our pain in very different ways. No-one can judge whether the way we cope with death is right or wrong but we are able to become part of Holly’s life and watch her deal with her loss in her own way. Frank is the catalyst for her life to change and their chance meeting seems preordained especially the circumstances of that very first communication between them. As new friends start to gather around her, she uses their own tales of loss to start on her personal recovery. She makes good decisions and she makes some rather questionable ones but they are all leading the way forward.
S.K. Perry is a hugely talented writer who draws on every emotion you have before you realise what she’s planning. A year goes by in the flash of an eye and all those dates, when your grief hit’s you the hardest, are there to be “got through”. Holly knows it won’t happen overnight and that sometimes you just have to go with the flow and take each day at a time. I didn’t always like her but tried to read without judging her personal response to her bereavement.
This is such a beautifully worded book about trying to come to terms with loss and how we need others around us to help deal with our survivors guilt. Friends are the families we choose for ourselves but when we find them, sometimes it’s hard to let go and to trust ourselves to feel again.
Let Me Be Like Water is an emotionally cathartic read with a poetic symmetry to the narrative that I found very soothing. A very different read for me but one I would certainly recommend.
Meet the author…
S. K. Perry was shortlisted for the Mslexia Award and longlisted for London’s Young Poet Laureate in 2013. She was a resident artist at the Roundhouse in Camden and a Cityread Young Writer in Residence 2014. She runs creative writing projects that develop emotional literacy, and explore mental health, memory, and healing from violence. She lives in Brixton, London. Let Me Be Like Water is her debut novel.