In this atmospheric novella, the mysterious Plankton Collector visits members of a family torn apart by grief and regret. he comes in different guises. For ten year-old Mary, he is Mr Smith who takes her on a train journey to the seaside. Her mother, Rose, meets him as Stephen, by her son’s graveside. Rose’s youngest, Bunny, encounters him as the gardener. For husband and father David, meanwhile, the meeting is with a love from his youth. And long-lost Uncle Barnaby takes the children for a week’s holiday during which their parents begin a reconciliation. All visitors are manifestations of the Plankton Collector who teaches those he encounters the difference between the discarded weight of unhappy memories and the lightness borne by happiness recalled.
This is a wonderful book (Novella) beautifully written and well worth reading.
A story of how a family struggling after the death of a son/brother come to terms with and are able to move on. I have read both of Cathy Barton’s novella and I have enjoyed both. Cathy Barton has an amazing talent that of being able to capture and evoke a depth of feeling, emotion and delivering a wonderfully complete story with her very succinct and, yet, expansive style.
I highly recommend reading it.
Published: Sept. 2018 by New Welsh Review under their Rarebyte imprint.
Buy: Your local bookshop | AmazonSmileUK
Cath Barton was born in the Midlands and now lives in Abergavenny, Wales. Cath’s favourite novel is Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and her favourite novella is Animal Farm by George Orwell. Her top poet is U. A. Fanthorpe.
Her short stories have been published in anthologies in Australia, the US and the UK, most recently in Normal Deviation (Wonderbox Publishing) and Nothing Is As It Was (Retreat West books) and in literary magazines The Lonely Crowd and Strix. Cath was Literature Editor of California-based Celtic Family Magazine (2013-2016).
She won the New Welsh Writing AmeriCymru Prize for the Novella in 2017 for The Plankton Collector, which was published in Sept. 2018 by New Welsh Review under their Rarebyte imprint.
In the Sweep of the Bay is her second novella published by LWB. Here’s Cath reading her favourite paragraph from her book on the LWB YouTube channel, where you can also find a recording of the online Zoom launch party held on Sunday 22 November 2020.
Whilst on an enhanced mentoring scheme for writers, run by Literature Wales, she has been working on a collection of short stories inspired by the work of the sixteenth century Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch. Her short stories and flash fiction can be explored at Cath Barton /stories.
Her short story collection, The Garden of Earthly Delights, is anticipated early 2021 to be published by Retreat West Books .
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