Slip of a Fish by Amy Arnold

True to its title from beginning to end, few novels achieve the delicate shimmer Amy Arnold's poetic prose evokes in the mind.

Book Review by Clare Mulley | 26 Oct 2018
  • Slip of a Fish by Amy Arnold
Book title: Slip of a Fish
Author: Amy Arnold

True to its title from beginning to end, few novels achieve the delicate shimmer Arnold's poetic prose evokes in the mind – a cool-warm, unsettling and very beautiful new voice. In this disturbing take on the inevitable mother-daughter tension many of us experience, the protagonist Ash experiences a painful distance from her daughter Charlie, and in her attempt to rebuild what they had before, only makes things far worse.

Ash is so successful as the narrator of this tale precisely because of the distance she retains from readers throughout the plot, her voice drifting like flotsam and entirely trapped by its own bubble, allowing us to witness the workings of an otherwordly mind. Through its vague journey from one clump of plot to the next, moving in bursts rather than one clear line, we witness events as if through a slow-motion camera or slightly clouded pane of glass. The lush imagery, full of water, reminds us constantly of how much this element defines her, as well as how dangerous it can be. It will not be an easily-tapped read for some, but is certainly one worth pursuing to its final unravelling.

And Other Stories, 1 Nov, £10 https://www.andotherstories.org/slip-of-a-fish/