A compelling literary mystery about the dark corners in a small community, from Marjorie Celona, whose award-winning debut novel Y was praised by Evie Wyld as 'a beautiful, moving book that explores what it takes to belong'.
A compelling literary mystery about the dark corners in a small community from an acclaimed novelist which asks: what do you do when the people who are supposed to love you the most fail?
It's New Year's Day and the residents of a small fishing town are ready to start their lives anew. Leo takes his two young sons out to the lake to write resolutions on paper boats. That same frigid morning, Vera sets out for a walk with her dog along the lake, leaving her husband in bed with a hangover.
But she never returns. She places a call to the police saying she's found a boy in the woods, but the call is cut short by a muffled cry. Did one of Leo's sons see Vera? What are they hiding from the police? And why are they so scared of their own father?
In the months ahead, Vera's absence sets off a chain of reverberating events in Whale Bay. Her apathetic husband succumbs to grief and disappears. Leo heads south and remarries, attempting to escape the history of violence that hangs over his family. And the cop investigating the case falls for Leo's ex-wife but finds himself slipping further away from the truth.
Told from shifting perspectives, HOW A WOMAN BECOMES A LAKE is about childhood, familial bonds, new beginnings, and costly mistakes.
A thriller with stunning writing and real honesty about grief - Stella Duffy
To the reader picking up this book for the first time: I envy you, such is the pleasure, depth, and beauty of the journey you're about to take. Haunting, deeply felt, ingeniously constructed, How A Woman Becomes a Lake is a supremely satisfying novel, masterful on every level. I could not put it down. - Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Dreamers
It is not lightly that I say: I could not put this book down. Celona's writing possesses the clearness and poetry of a compassionate, all-seeing ghost. Each time a character crossed the page, I felt absorbed by their consciousness, invited to see the story from a fresh, insistent perspective. On the one hand, How a Woman Becomes a Lake offers a felt study of guilt, grief and blame. On the other, the story will challenge your conceptions of love, which can be greedy, as well as sacrificial and absolving. - Eliza Robertson, author of Demi-Gods
This book has moved into me; it occupies and haunts me. Marjorie Celona writes with an empathy that manages to be both enveloping and exact. How a Woman Becomes a Lake is about what it's like to long for your most secret self to be understood, while fearing that such understanding might kill you. It is a feral, echoing, complicatedly vulnerable work of art. - Sara Peters, author of I Become a Delight to My Enemies