Winner of the PEN/Ackerley Prize 2018. On a family summer holiday in Cornwall in 1978, Richard and his younger brother Nicholas are jumping in the waves. Suddenly, Nicholas is out of his depth. One moment he's there, the next he's gone.
An excruciating read ... Beard’s book has all the required elements of a great memoir — a compelling story, deep introspection, fine writing and an unflinching quest for factual and emotional truth. This haunting book is a profoundly moving study of memory, denial and grief.
As much as an account of a death, this is a portrait of a family ... a touching, painful disquisition on memory and forgetting and the tendrils that tie us to the past. It is also a sad indictment of the private school culture still prevalent in the late 70s, which believed that only by squashing emotion could true character be formed ... a memorable addition to the growing collection of memoirs on loss and grief.