My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Weight of Water is a book written in blank verse and it is a very beautiful thing. When books are written like this, when the words are pared back, right back to the bare minimum of what they are and what they need to be, everything feels like it matters just that little bit more. The words. The punctuation. The space. When it’s all so exposed, there’s nowhere to hide.
In this story of an immigrant mother and daughter living a new and far too often awful life in England, we are exposed to the barest and baldest of emotions. It’s brave, firstly. I like books like this – books that demand to be told in a particular form and don’t fold and try to be something that they’re not. Kasienka’s story is one that thrives in the spaces, in the silence.
The Weight Of Water is awfully acute at certain moments. It’s a relatively quick read, but it’s one that I think benefits from rereading. When you return to the words and the silence and the beats in between her beautifully constructed sentences, you learn an awful lot about Kasienka. And sometimes, when she says the smallest of things, this is when you learn the most. You learn her kindness, her pain, and her intensely sharp and yet still somehow naive and innocent humour:
‘Mama says, “Don’t worry, Kasienka,
They have summers here too.”
But I don’t know
I love this. I have a lot of time for books that make me – just – feel – like this. Like there are stories in this world that are just waiting to be told once we find the right way to tell them.