The Cove : A Cornish Haunting



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Author: Lynch, Beth


Published on 4 July 2024 by Orion Publishing Co (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) in the United Kingdom.

Hardback | 240 pages
143 x 226 x 25 | 352g

For over five decades Beth Lynch has been drawn back, over and again, to a rocky spot on the North Cornwall coast. Her earliest memories of the cove are bound up with idyllic family holidays; as she grows older, however, her sense of connection with the place grows deeper and more complicated. This slippery interface of land and sea - a site of sheer edges and ledges, peculiar rock formations and eroding, tumbling slate - becomes her childhood refuge from anxiety and school bullying.

Around the time of her parents' deaths, strange things start to happen in and around the cove, and Lynch is left wondering how well she really knows this minute section of coast that draws her so ineluctably. Is it the cove, or is it her? What secrets does the cove have to share? Is she safer staying away? Unfolding through a medium of salt and slate, the elemental indifference of Atlantic Cornwall, The Cove is a lyrical meditation on being a revenant, on haunting and being haunted. Through encounters with quarrymen, wartime women and a enigmatic archaeologist - along with JMW Turner, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Anthony Trollope, and Thomas and Emma Hardy - Lynch contemplates what happens when our deepest fears materialise, reflecting on mortality and the nuanced ways in which we take leave of our dead. She explores the profound impacts of change - in ourselves, in places and in the transformative dance between the two.