seven steeples by Sara Baume

seven steeples is a striking book. A novel of landscape and season that follows the shifts in hedgerow with poetical finesse, describing two people who leave behind a life of others, slowly enmeshing their lives in a solitude explored from the outside in. Through the objects and shifts in flora and fauna, the rubbish of tourists and hearty greetings of the local farmer, we become intimate with their isolation, their patterns of behaviour. It’s mesmerising.

I’m not going to say a whole lot more about the book. What really draws one in is the beauty of the writing because the dreamlike distance of the characters is both enticing and disconcerting. There is an intimacy to it. The way life can pass by with little happening, with little ‘achievement’ as the natural world continues to turn. It has certainly made me want to read her other work.

I also have a confession to make. I’ve struggled to keep up with the blog during my PhD so what follows will be short reviews summarising the books I’ve read and haven’t reviewed immediately after reading. For this, many apologies. I’ll be reviewing: The Bitch by Pilar Quintana, All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien and Diego Garcia by Natasha Soobramanien & Luke Williams.