Diving Belles by Lucy Wood

Often the books you love are the most difficult to write about.

How do you capture just what makes them so very, very magical?

Diving Belles is one of those books.

It hold twelve short stories.

Contemporary stories that are somehow timeless. Because they are suffused with the spirit of Cornwall, the thing that I can’t capture in words that makes the place where I was born so very, very magical.

Lucy Wood so clearly understands what it is about the sea, what it is is about the moorland. The beauty, the power, the mystery… I don’t have the words, but she does.

And she threads all of this through scenes from contemporary life. She catches turning points, moments to remember, stories that should be retold.

There’s a pinch of magic too.

So one woman may travel in a diving bell to bring home a husband lost at sea. And another may be called back home when spirit of the sea permeates her inland home.

It feels strange, it feels other-worldly, and yet it feels utterly real.

I was unsettled and I was enraptured.

I turned the pages back and forth, not wanting to leave, and because there was something elusive that I couldn’t quite hold on to.

Such lovely writing, and such a wonderful spirit.

An extraordinary debut.

I am struggling for words but, make no mistake, I am smitten.

14 responses

  1. It’s really simple, Jane: Cornwall simply IS magic. I left a bit of my heart there and love books which capture the spirit of the place.

  2. I’m glad I saw this review it sounds like a book I would love. I’m reading Zennor In Darkness at the moment which is set in Cornwall too and like it very much.

    • I’m just a few miles from Zennor. I don’t like comparing authors, but I could compare this to early Helen Dunmore.

  3. You’re right – I often find that I can’t do justice to the books I love the most.

    This sounds like a lovely book – especially the bit about a touch of magic. Another one for Mt. TBR 🙂

  4. I adore books with touches of magic to them and this sounds absolutely fascinating. I’m glad you’ve found a book that epitomizes your home. And the cover art and typography are beautiful!

  5. I had a little flip out on twitter the other day bout ‘reviewing’ or ‘writing about’ books that you really love, it can be so very very difficult. This is a great review which I nearly avoided in case of spoilers as I have not quite finished it, but wow so far, wow, wow, wow. And you gave nothing away.

  6. Pingback: Now We Are Six ….. « Fleur in her World

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