Deep Down: the 'intimate, emotional and witty' 2023 debut you don't want to miss

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Deep Down: the 'intimate, emotional and witty' 2023 debut you don't want to miss

Deep Down: the 'intimate, emotional and witty' 2023 debut you don't want to miss

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Millenials philosophising about mundane things while roaming around the streets of Paris and surviving on bread and water. When the narrative loops back to the protagonists’ earlier lives, her observations of the nine to five are hilariously unforgiving: “At work, Billie spends most of her time with Martin, her direct superior, a lumpy man of about forty-five with back problems that he refers to as often as possible. A slow burn portrayal of how families can pull us apart but also how two siblings can find their way back to each other and to themselves.

There are no histrionics here, nor any glib resolutions, but a superbly observed exploration of intimacy and its failings. There are scenes of ‘goo spattered all over the floor’, interrupted by a policeman ‘wearing a chunky black vest thing’, and dramatic arguments where the most tragic result is a lack of ice creams ‘in the shape of Sonic the Hedgehog’. What initially seem to be the hallmarks of any repressed family – an inability to discuss death; tensions between divorced parents; a repeated insistence that everyone is ‘fine’ – become, as the novel unfolds, something far more disconcerting.Secondly, I think that the story could have used additional layers on top of the grief and resentment they were experiencing in the present day. If we are going to be switching back and forth in timelines as well as between two perspectives, it would have been helpful to replace chapter numbers with character names instead. It wrestles, too, with the timeless question of how to form one's own distinct adult identity in the shadow of a difficult parent.

I’m definitely categorising this one in the ‘sad girl reads’ section because it’s a pretty bleak and edgy take on family and grief. Woozily wandering between the arrondissements, the siblings dodge tourists and tiptoe around each other’s feelings, awaiting news of funeral plans. After their father’s sudden death in America, where he was living with his new wife, the pair come together. Funny, moving and unexpected, DEEP DOWN is an empathetic and hard-hitting look at both the struggles and the joys of sibling relationships, and the realities of grieving the loss of someone who was already an absence. In prose with a spareness conveying the numbness of early bereavement, Deep Down shuttles between present and past, as well as between Tom and Billie’s very different but equally vulnerable perspectives.But those who have encountered loss will recognise how agonisingly apt the backdrop is here – a strange place of echoes, shadows and impenetrable darkness.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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