Liminal by Bee Lewis

liminal

Salt Publishing is one of my favourite independent book publishers so I was excited to get the opportunity to read one of their forthcoming releases, Liminal which is published this week. Liminal is the debut novel by Bee Lewis which looked to be an intriguing and creepy read so was looking forward to reading it.

In Liminal we meet Esther, an amputee and expectant mother who his looking for a new life, setting up home with her husband Dan in the Scottish Highlands. Esther is looking for a fresh start for her and her family, which leads her to the restoration of an abandoned railway station. She finds herself in a new environment, far away from a world which has been unforgiving for Esther. She is troubled by memories from her past, not least the traumatic incident which resulted in her losing a leg, which had a major impact on Esther and her family, with relationships put under unimaginable strain. But as Esther’s life looks to be turning around, it soon transpires that things are not what they seem, and Esther’s dream may be further away then she had hoped, as she uncovers the truth about her past, and about her husband’s increasingly unusual behaviour…

Their story is told over the course a week with each chapter focusing on events on a different day. I liked this format and thought it was an effective way to show the changes that take place daily. This includes changes to Esther’s marriage, her body as she prepares for the arrival of her child, as well as seeing how she adapts to her new environment. And the setting of the Scottish Highlands makes for a chilling and atmospheric read, with Lewis’ writing effectively evoking a harsh and isolated landscape in which secrets are hidden. I loved the imagery of Esther exploring a forest which is a character in itself, a forest filled with a sense of foreboding, with the shadowy figures that lurk there. The mysteries surrounding the change in Esther’s life combined with the imagery from a haunting landscape make Liminal a compelling read which kept me hooked till the end, as more revelations come to light. However, the line between what is real and what is imagined remains blurred, as Esther deals with her own vivid dreams, in addition to coming to terms with the trauma of her past.

I found Liminal to be an interesting and enjoyable read which leaves the reader with plenty to think about long after the final page. It is a mysterious and atmospheric literary thriller with complex and fascinating characters, which explores themes of marriage and family, loss and grief, and the power of dreams.

Liminal is to be published on 15th August 2018 by Salt Publishing, with thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review.

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