‘Summerwater’ – Sarah Moss

Our setting is a rather dated holiday park in Scotland set on the banks of a loch. A rural retreat, and the holiday destination of choice for a number of families. Beautiful in its own way, but limited in others.

Over the course of one rain-sodden day we are introduced to a number of characters. Each gets their own vignette, and they combine to tell a story that is unremarkable in many ways. From the retired doctor and his wife who’ve been bringing their family here for years, to the younger couple staying in a family lodge as preparation for their move to one of the Scottish islands, the guests are varied. They each share a desire to reflect on their experience and consider its significance.

Moss writes evocative natural description. Some of the inner thoughts of the characters offer more than others, but each develops our understanding of their environment. While this was interesting, it was the unexpected act on which we end that I feel will split readers. There were little clues as to what might happen, but the closing scene was deliberately ambiguous and while I liked this I can see there are others who won’t.