Bookgab: Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

by - May 16, 2018

Cath Crowley's Words in Deep Blue is a moving modern-day love letter to literature. I honestly fell in love with the book after chapter two once I realised that the beauty of her prose effortlessly found its way onto every single page. There were so many quotable sections of this book that I practically took pictures of all the pages. I would have highlighted sections or underlined sentences like the people who visited the Letter Library we hear of in the story, but I simply couldn't waste time doing that when all I wanted to do was get to the next page. I can't remember the last time a contemporary novel gripped me as much as WIDB, and I don't think I'll find another like this anytime soon.

Words in Deep Blue is a story about a girl named Rachel who has her world completely turned upside down after she loses her younger brother Cal in a drowning accident. Her grief forces her to move back to the town and the boy, Henry, she left behind three years ago. Once back, she's forced to work alongside Henry, who used to be her best friend, in his family's second-hand bookstore, Howling Books, cataloging the thoughts of grief, love, happiness, and even anger of strangers found in the letter library.

WIDB is the kind of story that you return to on days where you feel like you've lost your love for words because every page of it reminds us why we think of books as treasures and why we rarely ever let go of the stories that we've read. As much as the book follows a narrative surrounding unrequited love and the ache that follows once love is taken away from us prematurely, the story also made room for a narrative about strangers and the ways in which the words of strangers connect us all who come into contact with them.

Whether we are hopeless romantics blinded by shallow beauty like Henry, or broken down shells of people like Rachel, WIDB reminds us that those stages of being are ever changing and that the more we live, the more we grow past the people that we want to be and instead evolve into what we need to be. As Cath lists different novel titles and the ways in which those stories affected the characters in the novel it becomes more apparent that the things that we say have just as much, maybe even more of an impact than what we'd like to believe.

Every single character in the novel was fleshed out, the plot, although simple, kept me turning page after page without any need to stop, and the prose made me think of poetry because of the amount of love and effort that was put into each page.

If books are important to you, and if the lives that follow once a book is finished is of any interest to you then you most definitely should pick up Words in Deep Blue. I recommend it to readers of all ages and backgrounds and I'll most probably read it again before the year is over. Cath made the experience such a treat and the literary Easter eggs found all throughout made me feel like I was a kid again falling in love with reading for the very first time.

Thank you so very much to the Pan Macmillan Publishing team for providing me with this review copy. All thoughts are my own. 

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