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How a Woman Becomes a Lake

  • Author
    • Marjorie Celona
Regular price £8.99
Regular price Sale price £8.99
'A highly original, beautifully crafted literary thriller' IRISH INDEPENDENT

By a frozen lake, ten-year-old Jesse waits for his father. It's New Year's Day, and his dad promised a fresh start. But Jesse messed it all up. And that's when he meets the woman.

In the months ahead, Vera's disappearance sets off a chain of events in the small town of Whale Bay, spanning out like fracture lines into the lives of her husband, the detective trying to solve her case, and of Jesse and his family - a young boy cracking like ice under the weight of a terrible secret.

'Stunning .... page-turning and shocking' JO SPAIN

'Excellent' DAILY MAIL

'Celona has the courage to take her time and yet she manages to pull off twists worthy of Harlan Coben ... It's a rarity: a book confected with satisfying artfulness that feels like a slice of real life' DAILY TELEGRAPH

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  • Published: Jan 07 2021
  • 198 x 126mm
  • ISBN: 9780349011370
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Press Reviews

  • Stella Duffy
    A thriller with stunning writing and real honesty about grief
  • Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Dreamers
    To the reader picking up this book for the first time: I envy you, such is the pleasure, depth, and beauty of the journey you're about to take. Haunting, deeply felt, ingeniously constructed, How A Woman Becomes a Lake is a supremely satisfying novel, masterful on every level. I could not put it down.
  • Eliza Robertson, author of Demi-Gods
    It is not lightly that I say: I could not put this book down. Celona's writing possesses the clearness and poetry of a compassionate, all-seeing ghost. Each time a character crossed the page, I felt absorbed by their consciousness, invited to see the story from a fresh, insistent perspective. On the one hand, How a Woman Becomes a Lake offers a felt study of guilt, grief and blame. On the other, the story will challenge your conceptions of love, which can be greedy, as well as sacrificial and absolving.
  • Sara Peters, author of I Become a Delight to My Enemies
    This book has moved into me; it occupies and haunts me. Marjorie Celona writes with an empathy that manages to be both enveloping and exact. How a Woman Becomes a Lake is about what it's like to long for your most secret self to be understood, while fearing that such understanding might kill you. It is a feral, echoing, complicatedly vulnerable work of art.
  • Alix Ohlin, author of Dual Citizens
    What happens when darkness is handed down from one generation to the next? How do secrets kept out of love warp the people who keep them? Marjorie Celona wraps powerful ideas about care-taking and morality around a tight, elegantly suspenseful story. This is a beautifully written book that I read compulsively, in a single sitting, all the way through to its haunting end.
  • Jo Spain, bestselling author of Dirty Little Secrets
    Stunning. Beautifully written, poignant, page-turning and shocking. A surefire hit
  • Chatelaine
    Poignant and lyrical, Celona makes finding out what happened to Vera a burning curiosity for the reader
  • Deborah Willis, author of The Dark and Other Love Stories
    A deeply empathetic and emotionally astute novel that reads like a thriller. Every sentence glints with an ice crystal's understated beauty. This is a profound page-turner
  • Daily Mail
    Icily unsentimental . . . An excellent novel about the indelible damage dysfunctional parenting can inflict on a vulnerable child
  • Candis
    A fast-paced thriller with razor sharp twists and turns
  • CrimeSquad
    What an absolute joy this book is. A stunning, literary novel told with such warmth and empathy. How A Woman Becomes a Lake is a chilling literary mystery that asks what happens when we are failed by the ones we love
  • Miles McWeeny

    Irish Independent
    A highly original, beautifully crafted literary thriller packed with characters that linger long in the mind
  • Jake Kerridge

    Daily Telegraph
    At its heart [How a Woman Becomes a Lake] is an exploration of toxic masculinity, but it is unusually compassionate and non-judgmental, recognising the complexity of both heroes and villains. It's a rarity: a book confected with satisfying artfulness that feels like a slice of real life
  • Sunday Express
    Cool, clear, melancholy . . . A beautifully sad read
  • Jake Kerridge

    Celona has the courage to take her time, letting us have a leisurely rummage inside her characters' heads, refusing to be trammelled by the usual rhythms of the whodunnit; and yet she manages to pull off twists worthy of Harlan Coben . . . It's a rarity: a book confected with satisfying artfulness that feels like a slice of real life.
  • Jake Kerridge

    Beginning with an abandoned car, "doors splayed, engine on", beside a frozen lake, this nuanced mystery unfolds, with twists worthy of Harlan Coben, into something satisfyingly artful that still feels like a slice of real life