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Reservoir 13

by Jon McGregor

Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month Family Drama Modern and Classic Literary Fiction Relationship Stories

LoveReading View on Reservoir 13

Category Winner of the Costa Book Awards 2017, Costa Novel Award | One of our Books of the Year 2017 

April 2017 Book of the Month.

Aged 13 a girl goes missing.  The whole village turns out to search.  Over the course of thirteen chapters and thirteen years we follow the affect of this tragedy on the villagers.  We meet them all through brief snippets of their lives.  In single chapters, with just their names to guide us, a picture of their village, their rural life, the pattern of the year, through lambing, panto, cricket, pub and New Year fireworks is built up.   Miss a few lines and you could miss huge revelations.  Kids grow, become teenagers, go to university.  Couples come together, couples split.  Babies are born, the old die, and nature rolls on.  The style is abrupt, staccato, yet gets under your skin and sings to you.  The novel centres on the missing girl but it is really about human nature, village life and the rhythm of a year.  It is outstanding, stunning and immensely beautiful. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

The Costa Judges say: ‘An extraordinary novel – poetic, haunting and hypnotic.’

Sarah Broadhurst

Reservoir 13 Synopsis

Midwinter in the early years of this century. A teenage girl on holiday has gone missing in the hills at the heart of England. The villagers are called up to join the search, fanning out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on their usually quiet home. Meanwhile, there is work that must still be done: cows milked, fences repaired, stone cut, pints poured, beds made, sermons written, a pantomime rehearsed. The search for the missing girl goes on, but so does everyday life. As it must. As the seasons unfold there are those who leave the village and those who are pulled back; those who come together or break apart. There are births and deaths; secrets kept and exposed; livelihoods made and lost; small kindnesses and unanticipated betrayals. Bats hang in the eaves of the church and herons stand sentry in the river; fieldfares flock in the hawthorn trees and badgers and foxes prowl deep in the woods - mating and fighting, hunting and dying. An extraordinary novel of cumulative power and grace, Reservoir 13 explores the rhythms of the natural world and the repeated human gift for violence, unfolding over thirteen years as the aftershocks of a stranger's tragedy refuse to subside.

Reservoir 13 Reader Reviews

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.

  • Sarah Musk - 'An extremely, interesting book written in the form of an absorbing narrative.  Jon McGregor has written a very original book about the effects of a missing girl on a village community.'
  • Kate - 'it’s a beautiful and somewhat oddly emotional fiction...A brilliant book.'
  • Alan Brown - 'A book that is gently descriptive but a complete surprise.'
  • Angela Rhodes - 'it is so well written, you want to keep turning the pages, you become entrapped by the villagers lives.'
  • Alfred Nobile - 'This is the first book I've read written by Jon. I found his writing sparse and to the point...He keeps you interested in his characters and what happens to them. A very well written book.'
  • Ann Quintilla - 'The pace of the book is a constant rhythm that cannot be hurried. It is a great read and unlike any other book I have read. Highly recommended.'
  • Julie Bertschin - 'Reading this story leaves you feeling in limbo, just as the villagers must feel, always searching for closure.'
  • Marjorie Lacy - 'The quality of this writing was fantastic, not a wasted word...One of the beauties of reviewing books is the unexpected thrill of discovering brilliant writers - thank you.'
  • Jocelyn F Garvey - 'A beautifully written novel of ordinary life transformed by a tragedy.'
  • Val Rowe - 'Sheer genius! Another outstanding novel by this unique writer...A novel I will read again and again...... and treasure.'
  • Samantha Lewis - 'I was slightly disappointed with this book. I found that it lacked in pace...'
  • Teresa O'Halloran - 'I loved this book. The writing is almost poet it is so beautiful, and you will not want to put it down for a whole myriad of reasons.'
  • Carol Peace - 'A fabulous insight into village life.'
  • Michelle Hodson - 'A teenage girl goes missing but life goes on.  Seasons change and village life follows. This novel explores the relentless march of time that even a tragedy cannot halt.'
  • Katie Hoare - 'Reservoir 13 is a very descriptive story, narrated from a person looking onto the story, of a teenage girl who has gone way on holiday, and transports you to the area.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'a thought provoking read and one which stays with you long after you finish the book.'

Reservoir 13 Press Reviews

'Absolutely magnificent; one of the most beautiful, affecting novels I've read in years. The prose is alive and ringing. There is so much space and life in every sentence. I don't know how he's done it. It's beautiful'
Eimear McBride

'This is a book quite unlike anything I have read before. There's a hypnotic pull to the narrative, which has an irresistibly cumulative effect: in time I felt intimately immersed in a community traumatised by tragedy. Moreover McGregor writes with rare grace and integrity, and with such exquisite care the reader would be hard-pressed to find an infelicitous syllable, still less a word or phrase. If people were not already aware that here is one of our most accomplished living writers, they certainly will be now'
Sarah Perry

'McGregor writes with such grace and precision, with love even, about who and where we are, that he leaves behind all other writers of his generation'
Sarah Hall

'Reservoir 13 is quite extraordinary - the way it's structured, the way it rolls, the skill with which Jon McGregor lets the characters breathe and age'
Roddy Doyle

'If you don't yet know you should read novels by Jon McGregor, then I can't help you'
Evie Wyld

'Devastatingly good'
Linda Grant

'Brilliant'
Cynan Jones

'Haunting and heartbreaking - his best yet'
Observer

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780008204853
Publication date: 06/04/2017
Publisher: Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780008204853
Publication date: 6th April 2017
Author: Jon McGregor
Publisher: Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 336 pages
Genres: Books of the Year 2017, Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Relationship Stories,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Jon McGregor

Jon McGregor is the author of four novels and a story collection. He is the winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literature Prize, Betty Trask Prize, and Somerset Maugham Award, and has twice been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Nottingham, where he edits The Letters Page , a literary journal in letters. He was born in Bermuda in 1976, grew up in Norfolk, and now lives in Nottingham. Photograph © Dan Sinclair

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