“… But having cracked open the slender spine, I found it to be even more unassuming and quiet – no prologue, no fanfare, no arcane dedication, hand-picked lines of poetry – even the acknowledgements are a mere eight grateful lines – but exquisite in its simplicity.Woman Zone CT
‘The First Day’ announces the opening chapter – and with that you step ashore. Onto Samuel’s island. Where he’s been lighthouse keeper for over two decades. Washing up with you is a body – one of many that have found their way onto the pebbly and unwelcoming beach.
You come to know well, if not its exact whereabouts off Africa, the lie of the island, its nooks, crannies, secret spots. As well as Samuel’s sparse, isolated cottage where everything has its place. But you don’t stay there. Because as his memory is jolted by the arrival of this body, this man, Samuel’s reflections take us back into the dark, sometimes troubled past he was marked by on the mainland. Again, Jennings doesn’t pinpoint the exact times and places of this not so long ago time but if you live towards the tip of Africa, you can feel it in your southern bones. Smell it in her carefully chosen words. By ‘The Fourth Day’, I was all but holding my breath.
I’m ashamed to have taken so long, but richer for reading such a thoughtful book, with a punch way above its weight.”