She’s had this feeling before. This feeling of marking time. Of pressing her nose against a window and watching as everyone else lives their best lives.
Isla Wintergreen has not seen her grandfather since she was seven, but when she unexpectedly inherits his cottage on the Isle of Skye, she cannot resist the opportunity to escape her purposeless life. As she slowly becomes a part of the island community, she learns more about the family she never really knew – from her estranged father, to her reclusive grandfather, and her intelligent but oppressed great-grandmother. Meanwhile, her mother Cathy reflects on her own past. Mother and daughter both hope to find new freedom – but can family patterns ever really be broken?
Told through the lives of four generations of Isla’s family, all linked by their connection to water, Dancing in the Shallows masterfully explores family relationships and generational inheritance.
‘Clare Reddaway is a richly gifted writer who captures the complexities of her characters’ lives with grace, power, and tender humour. An impressive and memorable debut novella of intergenerational relationships, Dancing in the Shallows masterfully explores the loves, losses, and secrets of Isla Wintergreen and her family at moments of crisis and change.’ — Emma Timpany, author of Travelling in the Dark
‘A warm, compelling read with themes of love, loss and the search for home. I enjoyed piecing together the different strands of this multi-generational story which reflect on the enduring impact of family choices and patterns. Clare Reddaway writes with perception about the power of community, a natural storyteller whose characters jump off the page. It takes a certain skill to draw the reader into the lives of four generations in the same family, exploring longings and motivations from as far back as 1910. Once started, this book insists on being finished as soon as possible. Engaging, immersive and utterly believable.’ — Deborah Jenkins, author of Braver