I’m doing my best to avoid blog tours at the moment but Feathertide by Beth Cartwright so intrigued me when I was asked by Alice Spencer if I liked fiction featuring ‘YA, mermaids, other worlds or LGBT stories’, I simply couldn’t resist taking part in today’s stop by sharing an extract from the book.
Feathertide was published yesterday, 30th July 2020 by Penguin imprint Cornerstone and is available for purchase through the links here.
A magical fairytale-inspired debut about accepting being that little bit different.
A girl. A secret. A life-changing journey.
Born covered in the feathers of a bird, and kept hidden in a crumbling house full of secrets, Marea has always known she was different, but never known why. And so to find answers, she goes in search of the father she has never met.
The hunt leads her to the City of Murmurs, a place of mermaids and mystery, where jars of swirling mist are carried through the streets by the broken-hearted.
And Marea will never forget what she learns there
Feathertide is an enchanting, magical novel perfect for fans of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus and Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale.
An Extract from Feathertide
A midday sky at a midnight hour.It was the Night of the Great Winter Star: crackling bonfires and chortling mirth, warmth in the cold and light in the dark. Jewelled colours somersaulted through the sky, momentarily mapping out new constellations in the darkness. The swish of a rocket and the swirl of a wheel.Frost shimmered on the rooftops and left long, glistening trails along the pavements. The world stood – watchful, whisperful, wonderful – counting down the minutes to the end of something frayed and worn at the edges, and to the start of something woven with promise and hope.The old unravelling into the new, when another year was safely tucked up into the warm folds of memory.A luminous star-filled sky; wish-ready.
It was the night I was born.
That morning, a heavily pregnant Lemàn had been out buying fresh mackerel from the old weather-worn fisherman at the port. They greeted each other with a customary nod and a half-smile and nothing more; he knew what she needed. She waited as he quickly worked his glittering nets between his hands, untangling the fish and separating them from the clinging crustaceans, a bucket for each. Despite his swollen fingers and knotted knuckles, he still caught more fish than anyone else half his age. Experience had taught him well. A faded salt stained cap tamed his buoyant grey curls and a clay pipe balanced at the side of his mouth as he rattled through his treasures, tossing the broken pieces back into the sea and whistling the old songs of long forgotten sailors.
It was the second batch Lemàn had sought that morning;the first devoured before she’d even arrived at her doorstep,and with a deep rumble in her belly she had headed straight back down the hill to the port, seeking to satisfy what she already knew to be an insatiable hunger. Lemàn’s craving for fish, morning, noon and night had grown stronger during the last eight months, and now it was all she could swallow without feeling empty and hollow inside. After about the sixth month, when her belly was as ripe as a summer fruit, her cravings grew so desperate that she no longer bothered to boil the fish into a soup or take the time to sprinkle them with herbs carefully chosen from the market. Instead she bit right into their scales, tearing their skin apart with her teeth, picking at the splinters of tiny bones left behind in her mouth, her lips sleek and oil-smeared.
I just love the atmosphere Beth Cartwright creates here. I’m hoping to get Feathertide onto my TBR pile very soon.
About Beth Cartwright
Beth Cartwright has taught English in Greece and travelled around South East Asia and South America, where she worked at an animal sanctuary. A love of language and the imaginary led her to study English Literature and Linguistics at university, and she now lives on the edge of the Peak District with her family and two cats. Feathertide is her debut novel.
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