Today is publication day for Nataliya Deleva’s latest novel, Arrival, an expertly written novel which provides the reader with a glimpse into the mind of a young woman who is trying to find her place in an unfamiliar world in the wake of a troubled upbringing.
Arrival was a book that captured my attention from the opening pages and I found it to be a beautifully written and poignant novel. Over the course of this story, we begin to piece together moments of its narrator’s life, with the narrative switching back and forth through time, and from country to country. We learn that this young woman has fled her home country after suffering violence at the hands of an abusive, alcoholic father. And as the story unfolds and develops, we she how she begins to rebuild her life, and to forge a new path for herself whilst still processing those difficult memories and emotional wounds that are yet to heal. The fact that the novel is structured in a non-linear way featuring multiple timelines, and fragments of childhood memories along with elements of folklore works perfectly here to help portray the narrator’s emotions and the scattered order of her thoughts and this was an aspect of the book that I particularly enjoyed.
Given the nature of the subject matter, Arrival is a moving read, with the childhood memories making for particularly troubling reading as we see the way in which growing up in an abusive household can have such an impact, not only on the individuals but the wider family. Through these characters stories, Deleva explores the ripple effect that such abuse can have, how the past can continue to shape a person’s life, and their future relationships, in the years that follow. However, whilst the book deals with some difficult themes it also contains moments of hope, and of love and resilience, as we see a woman reimagining her life. This made for a thought provoking read, one that is disjointed in style but is so beautifully told and absorbing that I couldn’t put it down. There was an almost poetic feel to the writing which I really enjoyed, and I shall definitely look to read more by this writer in the future.
Arrival was published on 24th February 2022 by Indigo Press, with thanks to Jordan Taylor-Jones for providing a copy for review.