A haunting debut novel of a young woman living on the edge in a Cornwall the tourists never see, struggling with the aftermath of family tragedy.
'This unsparing debut novel portrays the unromantic side of Cornwall few visitors see and which so many novelists choose to overlook. Charlie Carroll inhabits his damaged heroine completely' Patrick Gale
Away from the hotels and holiday lets, there is an unseen side of Cornwall, where the shifting uncertainties of the future breed resentment and mistrust.
Melody Janie is hidden. She lives alone in a caravan in Bones Break: a small cliff-top on Cornwall's north coast. She spends her time roaming her territory, spying on passing tourists and ramblers, and remembering. She sees everything and yet remains unseen.
However, when a stranger enters her life, she is forced to confront not only him but the terrible tragedies of her past.
The Lip is a novel about childhood, isolation and mental health, told in the unique and unforgettable voice of Melody Janie.
'All of this is Bones Break. All of this is mine.
I know every inch of it; I know it as intimately as the seagulls. I stand at dead-centre, my feet teetering on the edge of the lip. Below, the thundering tattoo of waves on rock. Wind catches the tips of my hair, lifting them above my ribs: less force than it takes to knock me down; enough to make me right myself with a step to the left, and then another back again. Here on the lip, it is vital to know where my feet are.'
Charlie Carroll is the author of three non-fiction books: The Friendship Highway (2014), No Fixed Abode (2013) and On the Edge (2010). He has twice won the K Blundell Trust Award for 'writers under 40 who aim to raise social awareness with their writing', wrote the voice-over for the TV series Transamazonica (2017), and is one of the Kindness of Strangers storytellers. He lives in Cornwall.