Evie Wyld’s new novel, The Bass Rock, stretches across centuries to examine the various forms of violence visited upon women by men.
There are three protagonists: Sarah, in the 1700s, accused of being a witch and forced to flee into the woods; Ruth, navigating a new home, a new husband, and a new family in the wake of WWII; and Viv, in the present day, forced to reckon with the weight of inter-generational trauma and dysfunction.
In their shared setting, the west coast of Scotland, their connections emerge gradually and deftly, like the weaving of a spider’s web. The fine folks at Penguin (Vintage Books) Australia were kind enough to send me a copy for review.
It’s hardly an easy read, disturbing at times, in line with Wyld’s comment that she “writes around things that scare her”. The shifts in perspective are disorienting by design, and each scene is painted so vividly that one can practically smell the salty sea air.
Unsettling, uncanny, and unforgiving, there is an eerie timelessness to The Bass Rock that will stick with you long after you’ve turned the final page.
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