A novel about three generations of women and their search for home. Ada, who has never settled in one place for long, returns to the house of her childhood, accompanied by her 6-year-old daughter, to cast her mother Pearl’s ashes in the river.
Wood’s lush prose modulates gently between the three women’s voices, incorporating Pepper’s childish colloquialisms, Ada’s bluff irritation and Pearl’s confused meanderings without ever loosing its lyrical power ... The mother-daughter relationships, far from being tidy or saccharine, breathe with the tiny iniquities that women inflict on one another.
Like Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn and Nora Webster, Wood’s novel has no burning secrets or sudden deaths; instead, it deploys a sequence of small gestures with such sleight-of-hand that the reader never guesses whether joy, injury or humiliation is ahead — much like life ... Precise, unindulgent, fresh and honest, every page is a celebration.
Weathering cannot be accused of zipping along – nor does it need to: its power lies in the gradual accrual of unnerving detail, as irresistible as a Dorset river in spate. Once immersed, you can no more escape its pull than Pearl can climb out of the river’s current.