Marvellous Ways is 89 years old and she lives alone in a remote Cornish creek where she has lived most of her life. Her mother was a mermaid. Marvellous is waiting, she isn’t quite sure for what but she’ll know when she sees it.
Drake is a young, traumatised soldier who on his way back from war promises to deliver a letter to the father of a dead man. Eventually he washes up on the shores of Marvellous’ creek broken in body and sprit. Marvellous soothes and heals him with stories, magic, sloe gin and the power of the sea.
“His appetite was scant and his words few,and the notion of living well had been replaced by a trenchant need to survive, nothing more. He turned and looked up towards her caravan. Thats when she saw the great big troublesome dream buzzing around his head, a dream as loud and dripping as a dragonfly. She quickly locked her windows. Maybe it was the action or maybe it was the noise, but that dragonfly-dream turned right and headed for her locked-up glass and the sound was like a pistol shot, and the sound threw her to her bed shocked.”
As Marvellous discovers who Drake is and allows him to discover himself again she reveals her self through her memories and stories of her great loves and losses. All of this is acheived in a poignant and moving way
This has just the perfect amount of fairy tale and magic for me. I love Sarah’s lyrical, almost poetic style of writing and find it very easy to lose myself in this world she has created. Cornwall is the perfect setting for a story like this. A ragged coastline with shipwrecks and mermaids makes the magic all the more delicious.
This is a book to lose yourself in, allow yourself to be carried away with the tides of imagination and be swept along with the whisper of the sea. Winman has created a world which is both mesmerising and beguiling, a place where magic really might happen.
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