In the Sweep of the Bay by Cath Barton

In the Sweep of the Bay by Cath Barton (detail)

In the Sweep of the Bay by Cath Barton will be out later this year*, published by the wonderful Louise Walters Books.#

This is a little gem of a book that perfectly captures the small and important moments in everyday lives. Fleeting emotions and lost opportunities, happy coincidences and sudden realisations, words unsaid and thoughts suppressed, a lifetime of quiet love, duty, and the essential spiritual isolation of each individual among many.

These themes are explored through the story of Ted and Rene, married in the momentary optimism of the post-war fifties, staying together in their traditional roles of wage-earner and home-maker through the rest of the century. Cath Barton has an exquisite eye for detail and a deft touch with words.

The layers of the story unpeel like an onion, each separate and perfect in its place and time, full of translucent beauty if only you can look at it the right way.

In the Sweep of the Bay by Cath Barton
In the Sweep of the Bay by Cath Barton

In the Sweep of the Bay is a touching and poignant novella, elegantly written in evocative language. In some ways the story is Austen-esque, not in the dry humour, but in the intelligent understanding of daily human relationships.

If you like books by Elizabeth Strout, Sally Rooney, and Ann Patchett, you will enjoy this flawless novella.


*The book will be published in November 2020, and pre-orders are available now. This little book would make the perfect Christmas present for the intelligent reader on your list of gift-receivers. 
# I subscribe to Louise Walters Books, so I am very fortunate in receiving advance copies. I’m very keen on the model she uses, where subscribers are like patrons of the arts – we put in a small amount of money to assist this quality independent press to stay in business, and get fab returns in books! It reminds me if the Naked Wines model (yep, we subscribe to that too), where we put in some money each month, and every now and then we check out some bottles of quality wine from small indie producers. This is customer-funding that means great products can be made and we have paid in advance. Win-win!