Morning Star Best of 2018: Fiction
Esther, a pregnant amputee, and her husband, Dan, are seeking a new life, setting up home – restoring an abandoned railway station called Rosgill, far away in the Scottish Highlands.
Spanning the course of a week, Bee Lewis’s gothic fantasia follows Esther as her marriage, life and body begin to dramatically change. By day, she is isolated physically and mentally within her marriage and her new environment. By night, she explores a forbidding forest, pursued by a shadowy figure.
Symbolism, dreams and violence abound in this spellbinding unsnaring of a soul.
‘Liminal is a novel that swallows the reader instantly. Part literary thriller, part eco-cry, it’s a book of mysteries and nature, and the way the two entwine to create both beauty and havoc. Esther, new to the Scottish Highlands, is struggling with the gaps left by various griefs and betrayals, as well as trying to understand an elusive, mercurial husband. She straddles a dangerously vibrating line between past traumas and vivid dreams. Lush prose, a haunting landscape and slippery menfolk – who prefer to follow their own compulsions – combine to make this a captivating, irresistible read. Bee Lewis has written a splendid début.’ —Nuala O’Connor, author of Joyride to Jupiter
‘A mysterious and atmospheric literary thriller with complex and fascinating characters, which explores themes of marriage and family, loss and grief, and the power of dreams.’ —The Owl on the Bookshelf
‘No spoilers here: it’s enough to say that Lewis is adept at showing not telling, and sewing items of unfinished business into the fabric of the narrative, which pique the readers desire to read. It’s a dark thriller, which unfolds within the timeframe of a single week. Fay Weldon meets Steven King? It would make a good film.’ —Alex Leith, Viva Lewes
‘Beautiful, and unsettling.’ —Ashleigh’s Bookshelf
‘Liminal is a suspenseful novel, well told. The new life, new baby story trope may be one of cliche, but here, bound up as it is in the landscape and ancient mythology of the glens, in Esther’s isolation, it takes a new and surprising direction. I enjoyed this very much.’ —Shiny New Books
‘Liminal by Bee Lewis (Salt) is an assured debut novel that explores the ways in which myth, dream and landscape affect our behaviour and perception. It’s also a gripping thriller concerning a damaged marriage, a pregnant amputee and the ambiguous motives of a menacing visitor. Lewis’s prose is vivid and assured and Liminal offers provocative ideas, emotional clout and a gripping plot.’ —Andy Hedgecock, Morning Star