4 The Storm

From JAW – 5 stars ‘Class, style & profundity – a rare combination’

‘Memories…’ is one of those books (appropriately enough given the title) which you just know, even only part-way in, will linger in the mind, for pleasurable pondering and turning-over in times to come. That is due to the rare combination of what I can only, if inadequately, describe as ‘muscular’, i.e. strong and effortlessly assured, writing, melded to ‘major themes’ and an author fully (but not obtrusively) in control of her creation. In short, the author knows exactly where she is going but the reader does not. The quite unforeseen ending met me like a brick wall – only pleasurably so.

So, although this is her first published work of fiction, so far as I’m aware, the author has hit the ground running at the considerable height of her abilities. There’s not a wasted line here, no slack or redundant passages (hence the ‘muscular’ description), but instead stark little lines or paragraphs that bring you up short with admiration and send you directly back, bungee-style, to re-read. Just to give one example, a two or three paragraph, almost throw-away, description of a London street-scene as near as dammit had me standing there seeing it myself. Such ability is rare. Other writers would take pages to attempt the same thing and still fail.

I should here declare an interest, insofar as I know Ms Morris personally. But so do a lot of people, not least via her must-read ‘writing advice’ web-site. Quite regardless of that, I nevertheless maintain that this is classy, stylish writing, conveying a profound tale in page-turning fashion. Unreservedly recommended.

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