Deep Down: the 'intimate, emotional and witty' 2023 debut you don't want to miss

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Deep Down: the 'intimate, emotional and witty' 2023 debut you don't want to miss

Deep Down: the 'intimate, emotional and witty' 2023 debut you don't want to miss

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If you like stories of family, friendship and the power of grief I certainly wouldn’t be saying no this novel! Dazed by grief, the siblings spend days wandering the streets, both helping and hurting each other in the process. Tom, the elder, is working there in an English-themed pub, avoiding the failure of his acting career (“not knowing what he is doing in Paris feels more productive than not knowing at home”).

Billie's chair screeches and she begins to pick up bits of a jar with a careful thumb and forefinger. Deep Down begins as Billie, a twentysomething Londoner, and her older brother Tom, a “failed actor” living in Paris, face unexpected news. Perhaps what is bravest about the novel’s artfully inconclusive ending is the painful acceptance that, with grief, there may never be a clear way out into the light.Anyone who knew of Imogen West-Knights as one half of the pitch-perfect satirical Twitter account Bougie London Literary Woman might have made assumptions about how her first novel would look: perhaps a smart, witty comedy skewering pretensions in the world of media or publishing. This was quite an interesting read about a brother and sister coming to terms with the death of their abusive father.

I just wish it was easier to follow and that we got to know the characters even better so that those moments held more weight. Even so, they didn't spend that much time together and they were cordial the entire time so it felt like the tension was diluted. There was potential for some interesting explorations on family dynamics, domestic violence and complicated grief, but that didn't happen here. To be fair, I picked it up at a friend’s house but after 20 pages or so I literally threw it across the room. I found Tom’s story more compelling but maybe that’s just because I love Paris and can’t resist a bit of romance 🤷‍♀️ Together the siblings make for some uncomfortable reading, finding any reason to pick at each other and disagree until it all comes to a head in the catacombs (loved this little sidebar of the story, fascinating!There are scenes of ‘goo spattered all over the floor’, interrupted by a policeman ‘wearing a chunky black vest thing’, and dramatic arguments where the most tragic result is a lack of ice creams ‘in the shape of Sonic the Hedgehog’. Deep Down is a wonderfully astute and often hilarious look at sibling relationships, intimacy and family repression. West-Knights considers the oddities of modern life for people in their twenties and thirties – from sharing a rented flat with a girl who once threw ‘farewell drinks before going on a three-week holiday’, to endless obligatory debates about the best Tesco meal deal. Deep Down examines that which we would rather suppress - grief, shame, hurt - with unflinching verve while treading a careful line between finding the absurd in the humane, and the humane in the absurd. The story is about Tom and Billie, they have both had a bereavement in the family and seeing as they both are so far away from each other they decide to reconnect and hope that being together will help with the grief.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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