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A beautifully rendered family drama set in Dover, England, between the 1940s and the present day, The Last Wave follows the life of Martha, a woman who has swum the English Channel 10 times, and the complex relationships she has with her husband, her children and her close friends. The one constant in Martha's life is the sea, from her first accidental baptism to her final crossing of the channel. The sea is an escape from her responsibilities as a wife and a mother; it consoles her when she is diagnosed with cancer; and it comforts her when her husband's mind begins to unravel.

An intergenerational saga spanning six decades, The Last Wave is a wholly authentic portrait of a family buffeted by illness, intolerance, anger, failure and regret. Gillian Best is a mature, accomplished, and compelling new voice in fiction.


‘Those who liked The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will enjoy Gillian Best’s The Last Wave for its quiet, intense examination of a woman fleeing British familial agony for the sea’s thrilling embrace." —Kathleen Winter, bestselling author of Annabel

"The characters in The Last Wave are layered, imperfect and real. Each is trapped by the confines of family life and yet by realizing enormous, seemingly impossible dreams, they ultimately set themselves free. It’s a brilliant illustration of how family relationships change and adapt in different stages of our lives — in childhood and parenthood, and through illness, failure, and success. Scenic and true-to-life, The Last Wave will inspire readers right up to the last page." —Emily Urquhart, author of Beyond the Pale

"In The Last Wave Gillian Best shows us that in life, as in swimming the channel, we aren’t defined by one decision, but rather the decisions we must make over and over again with each stroke, each moment — who we want to be, how we want to be. The Last Wave is an elegant meditation on commitment and the many forms of love." —Tanis Rideout, author of Above All Things


The Last Wave is published by House of Anansi (Canada & USA) and Freight Books (UK).

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