'An unsettling and lushly-written reimagining of witch trials. The Handmaid's Tale meets The Shape of Water' KIRSTY LOGAN
Everyone on this island has a story. This is mine.
Esta has known nothing but Eden's Isle her whole life. After a fire left her orphaned and badly scarred, Esta was raised by her grandmother in a deeply religious society who cut itself off from the mainland in the name of salvation. Here, fear rules: fear of damnation, fear of the outside world and fear of what lurks beneath the water - a corrupting evil the islanders call the Seawomen.
But Esta wants more than a life where touching the water risks corruption, where her every move is watched and women are controlled in every aspect of their lives. Married off, the women of the island must conceive a child within their appointed motheryear or be marked as cursed and cast into the sea as a sacrifice in an act called the Untethering.
When Esta witnesses a woman Untethered she sees a future to fear. Her fate awaits, a loveless marriage, her motheryear declared. And after a brief taste of freedom, the insular world Esta knows begins to unravel...
The Seawomen is a fiercely written and timely feminist novel, at once gothic, fantastical and truly unforgettable.
'Richly atmospheric, powerful and provocative. A raw and beautiful coming of age story' CAROLINE LEA
'The Seawomen immerses you in its watery world' SOPHIE WARD
'Dive in and don't look back' ZOE GILBERT
'I was hooked' NATASHA BROWN
'The Seawomen is a captivating and sometimes terrifying debut that will sweep you out to sea' JEN CAMPBELL
'Mesmerising and moving, I couldn't put it down' SUSANNAH WISE
'Beautifully written, unsettling as a storm over the ocean' LOUISE MORRISH
'An astonishing literary achievement. Chloe Timms is an extraordinary new talent' LAURA PRICE
'Fiercely feminist and utterly unique' NATASHA NGAN
'An allegorical love story with echoes of fairytales and told with a visceral brutality' KATE SAWYER
'A provocative, imaginative and beautifully written work of art' BECCA DAY
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Taught that they must be subject to all-encompassing oppression or risk damning their deeply religious community, the women of Chloe Timms’s debut novel grow up knowing that perceived transgressors—and those who fail to bear children—will be punished brutally. In order to protect their island, they are told, they must resist the temptations of the Seawomen who swim around it and hope to corrupt them; even the water itself is a sinister influence. The novel is sure to appeal to fans of Margaret Atwood, but this is a world of Timms’s own: the isolated island is a bleak place but her descriptions are richly detailed and the society she sketches feels all too real. Her protagonist is Esta, who has a dark family history and, increasingly, a questioning streak, though this feminist story of tyranny, defiance and forbidden love also takes the time to understand those who do not find it within themselves to defy.