With echoes of Where the Crawdads Sing, Read’s hypnotic debut traces the path of a lifetime in lyrical prose as young Torie Nash absorbs the transformative words of a mysterious stranger.
‘I’ve come to understand how the exceptional lurks beneath the ordinary like the deep and mysterious world beneath the sea.’
On a cool autumn morning, Torie Nash heads into her village pulling a rickety wagon filled with late-season peaches. As she nears an intersection, a mysterious drifter with grimy thumbs and smudged cheeks and eyes as dark as a raven’s wing stops to ask her the way. She could turn left or cross over. But she does not. ‘Go as a river,’ he whispers.
So begins a mezmerising story that unfolds over a tumultuous lifetime as Torie begins to absorb and follow his words. Gathering all the pieces of her small and extraordinary life, spinning through the eddies of desire, heartbreak and betrayal, she will arrive at a single rocky decision that will change her life for ever.