Tuesday, 2 February 2010


"I feel strange after writing today. Like I have a blackbird in my stomach."
(p21, 'Thaw' by Fiona Robyn)

A vivid and delicious lyricism runs throughout Fiona Robyn’s compassionate and compelling third novel, ‘Thaw’.

‘Thaw’ tells the story of thirty-two year old Ruth, who ‘doesn’t know if she wants to be thirty-three’. Her life is meticulously ordered, her relationships painstakingly detached – her loneliness devastating. ‘Thaw’ is Ruth’s journal, covering three months, as she decides whether or not she will take her own life.

Last year, I interviewed Fiona after reading her assured and sensitive debut, ‘The Letters’. There was a delicious ease to reading that novel, a pleasure that I compared to sinking into a warm bath – although similarly lifted and illuminated throughout by Fiona’s deft, poetic voice, ‘Thaw’ is very different.

Describing deep-seated loss and self-destruction, it is a necessarily darker, spikier read, and yet the pacing of its diary structure makes it difficult to put down. Most of all, there is an authenticity about Ruth and her struggles that cries out for understanding, reaching far beyond the novel’s pages.

It is this sense of empathy, combined with the beauty of Fiona’s prose, which makes ‘Thaw’ such a valuable and unforgettable book.

"She is all curve and smooth skin. She looks like a seed or a bulb; if you planted her in dark compost and waited patiently, she'd burst into flower."
('Thaw, p.42)

Fiona is celebrating 'Thaw's publication with a unique, literary, internet experiment. From March 1st, she will be blogging the entire novel, for free, here!*

In order to spread the word, she's beginning with a Blogsplash and she needs as many bloggers as possible to get involved. If you'd be willing to host the first page of the fantastic 'Thaw' on your blog on March 1st, please do get in touch ...

*though I personally think it would be better not to wait. You can buy this beautiful book right now.


annie clarkson said...

brilliant review, I'm looking forward to reading Thaw, it sounds wonderfully dark and intruiging...

Megan said...

Cheers Annie - I reckon you'll love Thaw (it's compassionate, even uplifting too)