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The Fish

"Exploring the earth-shattering environmental and emotional impacts of climate change, this devastatingly powerful debut reels with honesty and humanity."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Centred around three characters scattered across the globe, Joanne Stubbs’ The Fish explores emotional extremes – love, fear, violence, apathy, denial, the impulse to survive, and the impulse to save – that arise in response to escalating environmental events. Beautifully-paced, it’s a richly-layered, resonant read.

Set a few decades from now, Cathy and her scientist wife Ephie live in Cornwall. As a result of rising sea levels, they transform their vegetable patch into a paddy field and are surprised when two starfish set up home on their kitchen window. 

At the same time, Ricky, a teenager in New Zealand, witnesses new extremities of storms, while Margaret, an American Christian living in Kuala Lumpur, is shocked when fish make their way to land. It’s not long before the phenomenon has gone global – all across the world, creatures are leaving the sea and surviving.

As initial curiosity gives way to conspiracy theories, hysteria and measured scientific research, the emotional toll of this “new normal” manifests itself, as seen through the characters’ respective struggles. Their different perspectives - scientific, youth, and religious – presents a 360 view. At every turn, relationships suffer, and faith in God, science, and humanity comes under question.

As the story rises to an apocalyptic crescendo, The Fish makes the realities of climate change all the more relatable, all the more resonant, and all the more urgent when the fulness of its impact is laid bare, with characters whose crises will compel you to consider your own feelings.

Joanne Owen

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