Water Shall Refuse Them - Lucie McKnight Hardy; | Foyles Bookstore
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Water Shall Refuse Them
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Water Shall Refuse Them (Paperback)

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The heatwave of 1976. Following the accidental drowning of her sister, sixteen-year-old Nif and her family move to a small village on the Welsh borders to escape their grief. But rural seclusion doesn't bring any relief. As her family unravels, Nif begins to put together her own form of witchcraft - collecting talismans from the sun-starved land. That is, until she meets Mally, a teen boy who takes a keen interest in her, and has his own secret rites to divulge.

Reminiscent of the suspense of Shirley Jackson and soaked in the folk horror of the British landscape, Water Shall Refuse Them is an atmospheric coming-of-age novel and a thrilling debut.

Fiction & PoetryCrime & ThrillersFiction & PoetryHorrorFiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945 Publisher: Cinder House Publication Date: 04/07/2019 ISBN-13: 9781911585565  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Lucie McKnight Hardy grew up in rural West Wales, the daughter of London immigrants. She grew up speaking Welsh and her education was in Welsh. She studied English at the University of Liverpool, studied creative writing with the OU, and has just completed the MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.

More books by Lucie McKnight Hardy

Customer Reviews

‘’There’s a special time of day, when light is caught in limbo. Dusk: that time when the twilight dips to a level where light and dark start to merge, and everything takes on a silvery, ghost-like sheen, when it’s difficult to tell where one thing ends and another begins, and the lines of things are all blurred together.’’ Nif and her family travel to Wales for a summer break. Fate has struck a terrible blow within the heart of the family and a change will hopefully be the herald of a turning point in their lives. But not all changes are welcome. Nif is standing at a crossroads, neither a girl nor a woman. Her parents are drawing in a sea of tension and a peculiar boy seems to haunt her steps. As the 1976 heatwave unfolds, Nif has to place her trust in herself, her Creed, and…Is there actually anything or anyone else she can trust? Your own self seems to be the only safe refuge. Or is it? ‘’When I was younger, I used to see if I could make myself cry by imagining myself dead.’’ Lucie McKnight Hardy creates a story whose layers reveal themselves page after page, and then they withdraw in a lyrical, eerie hide-and-seek. A girl is coming of age in the most conflicting circumstances while being a ‘’mother’’ to her little brother. Her mother is spending her days in an endless limbo, her father shuts the door to all his problems, willing them to - magically - go away. The village is populated by harsh people, stuck in a dark past. Her neighbours seem enticing but the cracks are visible. And where is this much-needed escape? Written in elegant, atmospheric prose with inspiration from the vast wealth of British Folk Horror, with eerie scenes that will haunt your mind (the ‘’exorcism’’ of the house is a masterpiece in itself!), Water Shall Refuse Them is an outstanding novel of loss, despair, guilt, bewilderment, isolation. A haunting folk tale of mysticism, sensuality and sorrow… ‘’What do you think about when you wake up in the middle of the night, when the light has gone and the darkness is everywhere?’’

- 17/05/2022
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Staff Choice

Set in the midst of the 1970's heatwave, Lucie McKnight Hardy's Water Shall Refuse Them is a beguiling coming-of-age debut following the travails of a young girl called Nif on a summer break with her family in the Welsh countryside. Weaving elements of witchcraft, ritual and the potent possibilities of the British landscape, McKnight Hardy delicately explores the creeping horror of grief and the shifting perspectives of the human psyche in the wake of major trauma. Perfect for fans of Iain Banks, Shirley Jackson and Stephen King, Water Shall Refuse Them is an outstanding alternative addition to your summer reading list!

Clive, Events Team

Charing Cross Rd Bookshop - 18/07/2019

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