The Girl in the Wave is different from the other books I’ve reviewed in two ways – first it was written by someone I know quite well and used to work with, second it’s not actually been published yet. So I’m reviewing a book you can’t get your hands on yet. Robert has published a couple of other books Fighting the Philosophical Leopard and other stories and Past Presence. I’ve read a couple of stories from Leopard but when I asked him which book I should read first he encouraged me to read this one rather than Past Presence.
So a bit of a dilemna for me, but not for long. I’d read it and I want it to count so I need to review it on my blog. What I will do is withhold a score since that would be unfair since what I read is probably not the final version. As I understand it he’s planning to give it a final edit at some point and then it will probably be published.
The Girl in The Wave is the story of a man who’s just finished university and is living with his parents in Cornwall and trying to figure out what to do with his life. He’s half-heartedly looking for jobs but mostly he spends his days pretty aimlessly. He’s taking a walk along the beach one day when he sees the eponymous Girl, swimming in the sea and suspended momentarily in a wave. He becomes fascinated by her and tries to find out who she is and of course wants to meet her. Once he has actually met this mystery girl they begins a relationship of sorts but in many ways the mystery only increases.
I enjoyed this book. It’s a quick read, I read it on a trip away of a couple of nights – being a novella rather than a novel. I think it’s a book of two halves. In the first part we follow the narrator as he discovers and tries to find out more about and meet this “girl”. In the second part we find out about her story. I found the first part of the story more intriguing, Robert builds the sense of mystery well so that you reader want to know more about this woman as much as the main character does. In the second part of the book at lot of the questions are answered and it becomes much more about suspense and tension. This was still enjoyable but not quite as much as the first part.
To be fair some of this may be due to some formatting issues in the version I had which were particularly pronounced in the second half of the book and quite distracting. Also I know that the ending in particular is something Robert was not 100% happy with. I suspect if he can figure out a way to end it differently he may well do that.
So no score for now, but when there’s an official version, I’ll probably re-visit it.