“Raw, intimate and authentic.” ―Johanna Thomas-Corr
It begins with our bodies . . . Safe together in the violet dark, and yet already there are spaces beginning to open between us.
From that first immaculate, fluid connection, through the ups and downs of a working-class childhood in northern England, the one constant in Lucy’s life has been her mother: comforting and mysterious, ferociously loving, tirelessly devoted, as much a part of Lucy as her own skin. Her mother’s lessons in womanhood shape Lucy’s appreciation for desire, her sense of duty as a caretaker, her hunger for a better, perhaps reckless life.
At university in glamorous London, Lucy’s background sets her apart. And then she is finished, graduated, adrift. She escapes to a tiny house in Donegal left empty by her grandfather, a place where her mother once found happiness. There she will take a lover, live inside art and the past, and trackback through her memories and her mother’s stories to make sense of her place in the world.
“[Saltwater] features something very rare in literary fiction: a working-class heroine, written by a young working-class author . . . The writing is disarmingly honest . . . This is a courageous book dealing frankly with youth, puberty, mother-daughter relationships, class, disability and alcoholism . . . I found parts of this novel intensely moving―I wish I had read it when I was 19.”
―Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, The Guardian
Jessica Andrews writes fiction and poetry. Her work has been published in The Guardian, The Independent, Elle, AnOther, Somesuch Stories, Shabby Doll House, and Papaya Press, among others. She teaches literature and creative writing and is co-editor of The Grapevine, an online arts and literary magazine that aims to give a platform to underrepresented writers. Saltwater is her first novel.