In this lyrical debut, a young woman named Peach struggles to survive in the aftermath of a sexual assault, entering an oddly nightmarish reality in which her parents can't seem to comprehend that anything has happened to their daughter.
The attention to detail and organic sound in individual syllables, twining and weaving in a mesmerizing dance, is unmistakably potent in Peach. From the very first sentence, Glass asserts her prowess and control of language, showing remarkable restraint in molding the most powerful images ... The alliteration and assonance shape prose that demands the reader’s attention as they enter the world of the story and trust that the author is going to guide them through it carefully—if not safely. The beauty of Glass’ language is that it balances more than just sounds and images; it balances insight and instability, and the ways that the two complement each other ... Peach’s story ... is a haunting melody of the little truths we notice when everything else feels like a lie.
The staccato prose, repetition and alliteration here typify Glass’s writing style; the effect is propulsive and absorbing, the violent scenes and visceral details discomfiting. Glass tries to narrow the gap as much as possible between what her narrator feels and what the reader feels. Peach is only 98 pages long but, on finishing it, you won’t feel short-changed and you wouldn’t want it to be any longer—it is an intensely physical reading experience ... Glass’s publisher calls her writing 'lyrical' but it isn’t flowery and she rarely wastes words. Everything about Peach is clipped: the title, jabbing sentences, spare use of commas, characters’ names, unspecified setting. Glass is careful not to overburden her prose with imagery and, when she does deliver a striking image, it is all the more impactful for that ... The narrative is tightly controlled ... As a novel about an assault against a woman, Peach feels both timely and timeless.
Emma Glass’s fictional debut—a novella-cum-prose poem—packs one hell of a punch ... Its brevity and linguistic innovation are reminiscent of Megan Hunter’s The End We Start From and Max Porter’s Grief is the Thing with Feathers, but Glass’s commitment to the visceral is like nothing else I’ve read. I pride myself on my strong stomach, but parts of this made my skin crawl ... Sometimes it felt like enforced sensory overload just for the sake of it, but Peach inhabits a strange, horror-story realm of the hyperreal, and Glass’s vision goes a long way towards portraying an experience that’s near-impossible to articulate.