The Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller, longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2021
'Superb' - The Times
'Sharp, searching . . . utterly of the moment' - Hilary Mantel
'So accomplished' - Guardian
It is the summer solstice, but in a faded Scottish cabin park the rain is unrelenting. Twelve people on holiday with their families look on as the skies remain resolutely grey. A woman goes running up the Ben as if fleeing; a teenage boy chances the dark waters of the loch in his kayak; a retired couple head out despite the downpour, driving too fast on the familiar bends.
But there are newcomers too, and one particular family, a mother and daughter with the wrong clothes and the wrong manners, start to draw the attention of the others. Who are they? Where are they from? Should they be here at all? As darkness finally falls, something is unravelling . . .
From the acclaimed author of Ghost Wall, Sarah Moss' Summerwater is a devastating story told over twenty-four hours in the Scottish highlands, and a searing exploration of our capacity for both kinship and cruelty in these divided times.
'A masterpiece' - Jessie Burton
'One of her best' - Irish Times
'Beautifully written, intense, powerful' - David Nicholls
Sharp, searching, thoroughly imagined, it is utterly of the moment, placing its anxious human dots against a vast indifferent landscape; with its wit and verve and beautiful organisation it throws much contemporary writing into the shade!
Hilary Mantel, Man Booker winning author of Wolf Hall
Nothing escapes her sly humour and brilliant touch. Deft and brimming with life, Summerwater is a novel of endless depth. A masterpiece.
Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist
Moss’s ability to conjure up the fleeting and sometimes agonised tenderness of family life is unmatched . . . A great part of a novelist’s skill lies in the breadth of their sympathies and their ability to enter into the lives of people unlike themselves. Moss does this so naturally and comprehensively . . . there is an artfulness to her writing so accomplished as to conceal itself.
Melissa Harrison, Guardian