BOOK CLUB: Summerwater

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[Total: 3 Average: 3.7]

Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for the opportunity to read Summerwater by Sarah Moss.

“On the longest day of summer, twelve people sit cooped up with their families in a faded Scottish chalet park.  The endless rain leaves them with little else to do but watch the other residents.”

Each chapter follows a different guest, giving an individual story, we get to know them as they ponder their lives. Each holidaymaker is absorbed in their own cares, but are also aware of their fellow vacationers.

It is as if we are peering through the windows watching them too.

It is a diverse group, covering a range of ages and life stages. Their individual thoughts range from hilarious to very sad.

A young mum given a precious hour to herself while her husband looks after the children and spends most of it wondering how to spend it. 

A recently engaged couple both pondering their future together.

A retired doctor and his wife coming to their holiday cabin for 30 years, reminiscing on holidays past.

Teenagers holidaying with their parents, both would rather be anywhere else!

All very likable characters and relatable life situations.

There are two other holidaymakers, but we don’t hear their stories. We are made aware of them through the thoughts of the other twelve. All are aware of the guy camping by himself in a tent.  Also, the mother and daughter with the foreign-sounding name have drawn attention to themselves with their noisy late-night parties.

The story moves slowly, leading  to a dramatic and unexpected  conclusion.

Initially, I was disappointed in the ending, and then I realised that in the way it was done, it was far more thought-provoking.

Loved the book and thoroughly recommend it. It is not a long book and very easy to read in one sitting!

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading Summerwater by Sarah Moss. You can read their comments below or add your own review.

ISBN: 9781529035452 / Published by: Pan Mac Millan Australia

9 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Summerwater

  1. Thank you to beauty and lace for the opportunity to read Summerwater by Sarah Moss.

    I have mixed feelings about this book, we meet holiday makers at a camp site who all seem to be having a miserable time of it.

    Each chapter introduces us to a new individual and their personal experiences and thoughts, but the stories never give us a final outcome and I’m one of those readers that doesn’t like things left hanging.

    I finished the book but found my mind wondering off at times. I would recommend it to someone who doesn’t mind coming up with their own conclusions.
    I gave it 3 stars

  2. Starting at dawn and ending late the same evening, Summerwater by Sarah Moss explores the thoughts and actions of 12 different people staying in a Scottish chalet park over the course of one day.
    It is the longest day of the summer and whilst it has eased at times, it hasn’t stopped raining all day. From a retired couple who purchased a chalet years ago and live at the park full time, to a variety of visitors of all ages who are there on holiday, Summerwater explores individual realities, hopes and tensions. Culminating with increasingly disgruntled park occupants due partly to the inclement weather but largely to the actions of those in one chalet, the ending was unexpected and powerful.
    I’m still not sure I really liked this book, but at the same time I was drawn to keep reading it. The ending seemed to come prematurely after a big build up and left too many unanswered questions for me, but perhaps that was the intention.
    An interesting book that I found quite unusual, thank you Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for the opportunity to read and review this novel.

  3. Summer water has left me feeling a bit well confused. I liked the storyline, found it intriguing actually. But I couldn’t get my head around the writing style, for me it rambled a bit. The short interlude pages, Im still not sure how they fit into the story of the people who were out in the woods, in cabins in the rain. All family groups had issues culminating in a dramatic ending and what an ending that was once I thought about it and it is subtly written without actually revealing it.

    It may mean that I need to reread the book again as I think I was so wrapped up in following everyones story and being in their heads ( the rambling bits) that I may have missed fundamental things within.

    So I still cant say if I would recommend it or not. I will need to get back to you on that after I reread it.

  4. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for this book, Summerwater by Sarah Moss.
    I read this book constantly looking for a storyline. I now understand the story was in everyone’s tales of the rainy day on the loch .
    The story switched between the people who were staying at a Scottish chalet park.
    No one seemed to be having a good time as it was so miserable a day. People from all walks of life were there at the same time and although they were doing their own things, they were well aware of what others in the park were doing.
    The ending was not what I expected as I thought there would be more to it. It left me a bit confused.

  5. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to try this book.
    Take yourself to a rainy holiday park in Scotland, near a Loch on a really drizzly day.
    Take a trip through the lives of multiple families, their day, their thoughts.
    Though the detail and description within this book is a credit to the author, however I’m not entirely sure of the point. Sadly the only thread throughout is that poor weather challenges.
    I loathe to give books a poor review but I’ve struggled to complete this story, its not my kind of book. But i still apprecuate tge chance to try something new.

  6. I was very lucky to review Summerwater by Sarah Moss. The narrative takes place across a single day in an isolated cabin park in rugged Scotland, and Moss captures the feeling of cold, wet and “end of the earth” incredibly vividly. As in all of Moss’ books, the writing is stark and spare, whilst also managing to convey depth of feeling and underlying sentiment with remarkable control. This book won’t be for everyone, and has a certain bleakness about it as we hear from a range of cast members. However, I devoured it in a single sitting, drawn into the richness of each character’s inner worlds and making connections between the various threads that were being pulled. If you enjoyed her previous novel, Ghost Wall, then you will very likely enjoy Summerwater. But if you like your novels to have a clear “beginning, middle, end” traditional narrative structure, with neatly tied up endings, this probably won’t be for you.

    An emphatic 5 stars from me!

  7. Summerwater by Sarah Moss is the story of a small group of holiday cabins where various holiday

    makers are cooped up in the pouring rain. The persistent rain leaves them trapped indoors with

    little to do than watch each other although a few brave the elements.

    The story begins in the early morning and ends late at night and include a list of characters that

    I found difficult to relate to and a storyline that was unusual and uninteresting.

    Sorry to say that I could not get my head around this book.

    I Thank Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for the opportunity to read this book even though
    it was not my sort of read.

  8. Summerwater is an unusual book where you are introduced to a range of characters over a short period of time, in fact, a day. They are young and old, and include mothers, fathers, children and teenagers, all holidaying in a Scottish holiday park. Unfortunately the weather is teeming with rain and you come to learn about each person’s inner most thoughts about their lives, and how they are reacting to the others around them.

    These thoughts, like the weather, were generally quite grim. The style was not for me, and it took me a little while to get into the book but you could tell something was building up, something was going to happen.

    It had a surprising ending. I don’t think this would be for every reader, but thank you to Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for enabling me to read a book that’s not exactly my usual cup of tea, but very interesting to consider.

  9. I found this book was very unusual and unlike anything I’ve ever read. Each chapter tells the tale of a different individual staying in the chalet park. I found it strange as the stories are pretty much completely unrelated except for the connection of them all being in the same place at the same time and aware of each other also being there.

    I found the book was quite difficult to get into and the writing style was rather unique, but it was enjoyable to read at some points as you really got into the characters mind. I didn’t like how just as you started to know a character, their chapter was over and you didn’t get to return to them.
    Overall, I found the storyline was not very interesting and nothing really happened over the course of the book other than watch the individuals throughout a mundane day. There was a somewhat climatic ending but it stopped short resulting in being a bit vague and left a lot of questions unanswered.

    This was a short read and I enjoyed trying a different style, but unfortunately this was not the book for me. Perhaps I didn’t fully appreciate the book as I feel like there was something there on a metaphorical level that I didn’t comprehend and embrace from it.

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