Winter Under Water
or, Conversation with the Elements
'Sentence by sentence, image by image, there are few contemporary writers who understand words the way Hopkin does. In fact, I can think of no other. If you care about fine writing, read Winter Under Water' M J Hyland
When Joseph meets Marta, who has come to the UK to research the forgotten histories of remarkable women from across Europe, he is captivated, and Marta feels the same; when she returns to her previous life, their relationship continues through letters and phone calls. Then Joseph decides to visit Marta in her native Poland.
Interlinking Joseph’s often strange experiences with Marta’s letters to him, Winter Under Water is a book about who we are and who we choose to love; exploring issues of isolation and identity, of home and belonging, it is also, ultimately, a book that suggests you only truly know a person or a place when you can sit in silence and not feel compelled to break it -- in any language.
‘Winningly confident . . . There are few first-time novelists who have an ability to conjure language to such magical effect. The prose is littered with the sort of startling and poetic metaphors that continually persuade the reader to pause and savour in satisfaction, and Winter Under Water is a seductive and irresistible read. I doubt there'll be many more accomplished debuts published this year’ Independent on Sunday
'A chilly and atmospheric first novel about crossing cultures . . . Hopkin beautifully conveys the sense of being a stranger in a strange land, struggling to reach a true understanding of the woman he loves' The Times