Daisy Johnson’s debut novel turns classical myth on its head in an unsettling story of family and identity, of fate, language, love and belonging.
Words are important to Gretel, always have been. She begins to remember the private vocabulary of her childhood. She remembers other things, too: the wild years spent on the river; the strange, lonely boy who came to stay on the boat one winter; and the creature in the water – a canal thief? – swimming upstream, getting ever closer. In the end there will be nothing for Gretel to do but go back.