A Line Made by Walking
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March 2017 Book of the Month.
Frankie studies art and then works in a gallery in Dublin. The owner only issues part-time contracts for graduating students so after a year she is out of work. Depression and the cusp of mental breakdown follow. She’s twenty-five. She goes home and then persuades her mother that she can care-sit her deceased grandmother’s bungalow while it is on the market. It is here, through the death of a robin, that she decides to commence on an art project photographing dead wild animals, predominantly roadkill. We get the badly produced black and white, grainy photos in the text plus a whole lot of conceptual art references which, in the author’s notes, we are encouraged to look up for we have been given the character’s memory of that part of her studies in “I test myself” sections. Doom and gloom set in. She loses weight and reflects on her childhood and nature, these are the highlights of the book. Her mother is a saint. Unlike the author’s sparsely written first novel, Spill Simmer Falter Wither, which developed slowly and was immensely poignant and uplifting, this one is long and dense as Frankie tries to cope with a world that is wrong and a sadness that is crushing her. The result is an extraordinary meditation on art, loneliness and life. I believe it is semi-autobiographical. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.
- Jenny Duffy - 'Sara Baume is a brilliant new talent on the Irish literary scene, and this book is a masterpiece.'
- Ann Peet - 'Elegant, compelling novel exploring the meaning of life and ideas about art and nature.'
- Sue Broom - 'a profoundly moving story, superbly well written and engaging...'
- Sarah Webb - 'This is no “difficult second album”...again, the writing is beautiful.'
- Christine Waddington - 'This is the story of Frankie, a young artist, who has retreated to her late grandmother`s bungalow, dispirited and isolated from life.'
- Judith Sharp - 'The book is a well written account of depression but I just found it too much to take. I prefer more uplifting books & I definitely wouldn't recommend it to anyone suffering from depression.'
- Alison Layland - 'I was captivated by the intelligent, witty main character and dark-edged warmth of this fascinating novel.'
- Sarah Hamid - 'This is a melancholy novel, where the reader feels as if they are right inside the main character's head. The descriptions of the natural world are perceptive and original.'
A Line Made by Walking by Sara Baume
A Line Made by Walking, the successor of the critically acclaimed Spill Simmer Falter Wither, is a beautiful and elegant novel by an author whose empathy shines a bright, piercing light on the heart-breaking realities of being alive. Struggling to cope with urban life - and with life in general - Frankie, a twenty-something artist, retreats to the rural bungalow on 'turbine hill' that has been vacant since her grandmother's death three years earlier. It is in this space, surrounded by nature, that she hopes to regain her footing in art and life. She spends her days pretending to read, half-listening to the radio, failing to muster the energy needed to leave the safety of her haven. Her family comes and goes, until they don't and she is left alone to contemplate the path that led her here, and the smell of the carpet that started it all. Finding little comfort in human interaction, Frankie turns her camera lens on the natural world and its reassuring cycle of life and death. What emerges is a profound meditation on the interconnectedness of wilderness, art and individual experience, and a powerful exploration of human frailty.
'After a remarkable and deservedly award-winning debut, here is a novel of uniqueness, wonder, recognition, poignancy, truth-speaking, quiet power, strange beauty and luminous bedazzlement. Once again, I've been Baumed.' -- Joseph O'Connor
About the Author
Publication date23rd February 2017
More books by Sara Baume
Author 'Like for Like'
PublisherWilliam Heinemann Ltd an imprint of Cornerstone
CategoriesModern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
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