Are you between 5 and 25? If so, enter the Wicked Young Writer Awards NOW - click here for details...

books of the month twitter
Search our site
Last Letter from Istanbul by Lucy Foley Read the opening extract of the brand new Lucy Foley book before its publication on 19/03/2018

The Fish Ladder A Journey Upstream by Katharine Norbury
  

The Fish Ladder A Journey Upstream

Biography / Autobiography   

Sue Baker's view...

As Katharine Norbury tracks rivers and mountains, her own personal story plays out against this watery landscape. As an adopted child, serious illness leads her to search for her real mother and some of the most poignant parts of the book deal with the rejection she encounters but there is healing both in body and in the shape of a newly found half-brother. A powerful and moving account of how nature has the power to heal – even the most wounded of souls.

Like for Like Reading

To the River: A Journey beneath the Surface, Olivia Lang

Strands: A Year of Discoveries on the Beach, Jean Sprackland

Who is Sue Baker

Synopsis

The Fish Ladder A Journey Upstream by Katharine Norbury

Katharine Norbury was abandoned as a baby in a Liverpool convent. Raised by loving adoptive parents, she grew into a wanderer, drawn by the landscape of the British countryside. One summer, following the miscarriage of a much-longed-for child, Katharine sets out - accompanied by her nine-year-old daughter, Evie - with the idea of following a river from the sea to its source. The luminously observed landscape provides both a constant and a context to their expeditions. But what begins as a diversion from grief soon evolves into a journey to the source of life itself, when a chance circumstance forces Katharine to the door of the woman who gave her up all those years ago. Combining travelogue, memoir, exquisite nature writing, fragments of poetry and tales from Celtic mythology, The Fish Ladder has a rare emotional resonance. A portrait of motherhood, of a literary marriage and a hymn to the adoptive family, this captivating story of self-discovery is, most of all, an exploration of the extraordinary majesty of the natural world. Imbued with a keen and joyful intelligence, this original and life-affirming book is set to become a classic of its genre.

Reviews

'What a delight! The Fish Ladder is a luminous sort of book, beautifully written, darting here and there like a kingfisher over a stream. A beautiful, strange, intoxicating and utterly unique story' Philip Pullman

'The Fish Ladder is truly compelling. Its diverse mix of nature, travel and personal history combines to produce a moving journal of one woman's endeavours to walk from dark into light. Warm and touching, it's impact lies in its simplicity and emotional power' Jo Brand

'This is an unusual memoir leading from the grief of a death to the shocking discovery of a birth. The fluid narrative, with its tributaries and false trails, its reflections of dream-like memories and focus on indiscernible destinations, seems to follow the rivers along which Katharine Norbury loves to travel. She has written a magical and most original first book' Michael Holroyd

'The Fish Ladder is a beautiful book. An exquisite example of 'new nature writing'. The scattered fragments of pain and loss and loveliness are bound together into a coherent whole. A generous, moving book and extraordinarily well written too' Sara Maitland

'There is much to learn from The Fish Ladder about how the memoir can tell a story as well as be a meditation; how language can be both profound and sensuous. It's an unsentimental but extraordinary exploration of how we use narrative to understand our place in the world' Amit Chaudhuri

'Deeply affecting, atmospheric and sensuous, The Fish Ladder is a beautifully written meditation of what it is to be alone, of yearning for connection and of the consolations of nature' Polly Samson

About the Author

Katharine Norbury trained as a film editor with the BBC and has worked extensively in film and television drama. She is a graduate of the Creative Writing MA programme at UEA and a doctoral candidate at Goldsmiths. She lives in London with her family. The Fish Ladder is her first book.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999

Author

Katharine Norbury

More books by Katharine Norbury
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations
Loading twitter updates...

Publisher

Format

Hardback

Categories


ISBN

9781408859230

I love 'try before you buy' extracts. I love the wide range of authors & genres. I love the author info. I love books!

Judi Davies

Its jam packed with fantastic titles, informative descriptions & fantastic reviews and has a vast array of great features & competitions.

Linda Rollins

Lovereading are lovely people who send me lovely books. What's not to love?

Gavin Dimmock

The best new books on the market, reviewed honestly, to give your readers the best choices.

Julie Cook

Lovereading recommends, honestly reviews and promotes books-what more can I say?!

Rachel Bridgeman

Lovereading is a world of books. It has everything you need from new to old and much loved classic books. It even give you recommendations!

Kate Thurston

At Lovereading there are fabulous books available in every genre, with great reviews to help you pick the right book for you.

Teresa O'Halloran

I love the 'like for like' author recommendations, it's like an old friend whispering in your ear.

Emma Caddick

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools