But one library in particular: the Waterloo Public Library. I spent years here as a child listening to stories and checking out as many books as I could. Most of which were returned. Most of which incurred a fine. Some fines were bigger than others... such as the fine I paid when I returned home from studying in Glasgow, and got a new library card. Apparently there was a book overdue from sometime in my high school days.
How lovely, then, to see that the library featured The Last Wave in their promotional flyer. Also, how great is it that, in with all the adverts for big screen TVs and washer-dryers, there's an advert for the library?
Delighted that the Toronto Star included The Last Wave in their holiday reads round-up.
Great to see The Last Wave included in this round-up up women who shake things up. Check it out the Toronto Star.
"Novels where women shake things up — from the social order to family dynamics to pioneering new ground."
"Something I admire about this novel is Gillian Best's commitment to the difficult. Best does offer her reader a resolution at the end – one that's only partway, but true in the way that life offers few full resolutions."
Read Jade Colbert's full review here.
It was GREAT being back up in Scotland, and wonderful to meet fellow debut novelists Helen McClory and Ever Dundas for a chat about first books. If you weren't able to join us in person, you can have a listen to the post-event podcast here. You'll also be treated to some great chat from some Nasty Women, and other folk from the festival.
Big thanks to the delightful Peggy Hughes for organising the festival.
Nice shout out here from Metro News Canada.
The Last Wave, Gillian Best (26 July 2017)
It’s no surprise that Canadian-British author Gillian Best, a self-declared seaside enthusiast and lifelong swimmer, has set her assured debut novel near water. The epic family tale, which takes place in Dover, England, follows more than 60 years in the life of Martha, a tough-minded woman who goes on to swim the English Channel 10 times. The ocean is an escape for Martha; the real drama takes place as she navigates relationships with her family. Due out at the end of August, Best’s novel also heralds the last wave of summer beach days.
I had the absolute pleasure of chatting with Alissa Santiago at Girth Radio when I was back in Toronto in August. We talked about all sorts: swimming, writing, The Last Wave, and I got some great tips on places to buy bras (always handy!).
Have a listen here.
If you find yourself up in Dundee, and at loose ends on Saturday 21 October, come along to First Writes. I'll be there along with the extremely talented debut novelists Helen McClory and Ever Dundas.
Official blurb below:
Join us for readings and chat from these three fantastic new voices.
In Flesh of the Peach, Scottish First Book of the Year winner Helen McClory paints a beautiful and painful portrait of a woman’s unravelling, combining exquisite, and at times experimental, prose with a powerful understanding of the effects of unresolved loss.
The Last Wave by Gillian Best is a wholly authentic, tragicomic portrait of family life as it is buffeted by sickness, intolerance, anger, failure and regret, soaked in empathy and salt water.
Ian McEwan’s Atonement meets Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth in Ever Dundas’s extraordinary debut Goblin, an utterly beguiling historical tale with an unforgettable female protagonist at its centre.
When: Saturday 21st October, 10am
Where: Bonar Hall
Tickets: £3, concession £2
I woke up this morning to find this lovely review of The Last Wave on This Mom Reads.
"This was a really emotional read. I found myself tearing up more than once. Martha’s character is far from perfect and I may not have agreed with every decision she made, but I think that is why she resonated with me. She is a woman guided by her passion for swimming and the sea and it takes precedence over everything in her life, including her family.
I highly recommend checking out The Last Wave if you are a fan of character driven novels or looking for a thoughtful read."