Even though I don’t seem to have a favourite genre, this is probably the kind of book that you won’t find me reading very often.
I must confess that what first drew me to The Blue Bath was its stunning cover. To be honest, at first I didn’t even notice the Eiffel Tower. I believe what caught my attention was the colour. The shades of blue, green, yellow and then the white; together they created an atmosphere that captivated me instantly. There’s a melancholy to it, but also a feeling of warmth, of sunsets. And then all that blue… it made me think of the word fragile, of memories. I think I already knew that I couldn’t simply ignore it, but the back cover convinced me with promises of art, Paris and London.
Let me start by saying that The Blue Bath is written so beautifully it will make your heart skip a beat. I am in awe of Mary Waters-Sayer’s writing. Beauty, the concept of beauty, has brought quite a lot of pain to this world, but the way this book is written just makes it impossible to live without its existence. It’s so beautiful it hurts.
I don’t know about you, but usually this kind of writing makes me slow down. I feel the need to taste every single word and feel how they come together in sentences, as if they were ultimately created to make said sentences possible. You are pulled into them, one at a time. You can feel every inch of this novel; every change in scenery, atmosphere, mood… even the weather. It’s incredible. It’s like the words are alive. You can feel the blood running through their veins and their state of mind; at times they are so sharp around the edges that you feel them cutting through you. It’s intense and… fascinating.
The story itself is not one that we haven’t heard before. I do believe the way it is written somehow elevates it though, making it almost impossible to recognize a skeleton that has long ago become more than familiar. Everything seems to be utterly new and painfully alive. It feels as if you are reading someone’s memoir; someone who pressed their hearts and soul to the page and together they bled words.
I made this novel last for as long as I could. There were days when I only allowed myself a chapter, wanting it to last forever.
I believe this is a debut novel. I, for one, am hoping that Mary Waters-Sayer will keep on writing. I found myself being reminded of why I fell in love with words in the first place. Thank you so much.
ARC provided by St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley.