Saltwater: Winner of the Portico Prize

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What to expect

SHORTLISTED FOR THE PORTICO PRIZE

‘This book is sublime. It dares to be different, to look in a different way. Andrews is not filling anyone’s shoes, she is destroying the shoes and building them from scratch.’ Daisy Johnson

When Lucy wins a place at university, she thinks London will unlock her future. It is a city alive with pop up bars, cool girls and neon lights illuminating the Thames at night. At least this is what Lucy expects, having grown up seemingly a world away in working-class Sunderland, amid legendary family stories of Irish immigrants and boarding houses, now-defunct ice rinks and an engagement ring at a fish market.

Yet Lucy’s transition to a new life is more overwhelming than she ever expected. As she works long shifts to make ends meet and navigates chaotic parties from East London warehouses to South Kensington mansions, she still feels like an outsider among her fellow students. When things come to a head at her graduation, Lucy takes off for Ireland, seeking solace in her late grandfather’s cottage and the wild landscape that surrounds it, wondering if she can piece together who she really is.

Lyrical and boundary-breaking, Saltwater explores the complexities of mother-daughter relationships, the challenges of shifting class identity and the way that the strongest feelings of love can be the hardest to define.

(p) 2019 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

Critics Review

  • Raw, intimate and authentic . . . Andrews obviously has talent.

    The Sunday Times
  • Luminous

    Observer New Review
  • A stunning new voice in British literary fiction.

    Independent
  • Lyrically poetic

    Evening Standard
  • Andrews writes about life as we experience it in memory, melding trauma, joy and sensory half-recollections. Saltwater is a moving debut which portrays an ordinary young life in an original and refreshing way.

    TLS
  • This book is sublime. It dares to be different, to look in a different way. Andrews is not filling anyone’s shoes, she is destroying the shoes and building them from scratch.

    Daisy Johnson, author of Everything Under

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