Wivenhoe by Samuel Fisher
Published by Corsair, 2022
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Set in an alternate present, where the climate crisis has buried the UK beneath endless snow, a cut-off village community is rocked by the brutal murder of one of their own. Told from the dual perspectives of a mother and her adult son (the step-mother and step-brother of the killer), the book asks us to consider the motivations and ramifications of violence, and what parts of society are worth holding onto when the world is falling apart.
Fisher writes incredibly well, his descriptive prose evoking the barren, frozen landscape and the characters’ isolation to great effect, without feeling dense or flowery. Tension swells throughout the narrative, and though the expected climax never quite comes, this ties in thematically with the idea of breaking toxic cycles of violence, and knowing when to admit defeat.
Tragic yet hopeful, Wivenhoe’s timely look at taking back control when it feels like the world is on pause is sure to resonate with many.