Gillian Best, winner of the Bronwen Wallace Award for Short Fiction, weaves a striking literary debut centred on one woman’s relationship to the sea in this sweeping intergenerational family saga.
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 ten 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.
[The Last Wave is] literary and lucid, sketching out a compelling character through six decades worth of angst and illness.
A rich portrait of one woman, her family and the undercurrents of life.