Saltwater revels in the possibilities of its form, using fragments to shift tone and texture, reminding us of those pivotal moments that can upend a life . . . This book holds disparate elements in a finely wrought balance that is difficult to achieve at any stage of a writing life let alone in a debut.
Lyrical . . . a carefully pieced-together exploration of the way we connect with a landscape, of how a place might help us to return to ourselves . . . a sensitive and intelligent exploration of the ravages of austerity . . . a book about belonging.
A book of breathtaking beauty. Saltwater is a visionary novel with prose that gets deep under your skin. The short, sharp chapters thrum with life. Lucy is a memorable character, her journey one that is moving and totally compelling, telling a series of deep truths about the state of our divided nation. Andrews is a major new voice in contemporary British fiction.
Fluid, crisp and bracing/. Quietly experimental in form - short numbered snippets that recall the writing of Maggie Nelson and Jenny Offill - the book explores familial bonds, class identity, the longing for home and the simultaneous desire to escape it.
A stunning new voice in British literary fiction.
Captures that overwhelming sense of the possible and how daunting and disorientating it can be when the change you craved doesn't expand your horizons but instead hollows you out. ****
Raw, intimate and authentic . . . Andrews obviously has talent.
The writing is disarmingly honest . . . I found parts of this novel intensely moving. I wish I had read it when I was 19.
Works perfectly...the astute observations of working class life pour off every page.
A distinctive new voice for fans of 'Fleabag' or Sally Rooney . . . Jessica Andrews's debut novel shimmers with promise: it's one of those books where, from the first pages, you're grabbed by a distinctive new voice.
Mesmerising. Jessica is a brilliant, original writer. She's a name to watch.
This book is sublime. It dares to be different, to look in a different way. Andrews is not filling anyone's shoes, she is destroying the shoes and building them from scratch.
Saltwater moved me to tears on several occasions; here is proof of the poetic idiosyncrasies of every family, of every person's narrative being worthy of literature, of the fact that a good novel shouldn't bring voices in from the margins, but travel outwards towards them, and let them tell their own story, in their own voice, in their own, unique way.
Andrews writes about life as we experience it in memory, melding trauma, joy and sensory half-recollections. Saltwater is a moving debut which portrays an ordinary young life in an original and refreshing way.
Visceral, high-definition sections - which also record Lucy's growing awareness of, and estrangement from, her working-class background - are highlights . . . a sharply observed and poignant first outing.