Book Review: Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

This is another book that’s really taken me by surprise. Supposedly it’s about the disappearance of a young girl and it’s impact on the small, rural community she’s visiting at the time.

However readers expecting to read the ins and outs of a standard ‘whodunnit’ are in for a pleasant surprise. McGregor starts off telling the tale of the investigation but as time moves on so does the day to day life of the community and its people. People fall in love, have children, have affairs, get arrested, go fishing, tend allotments and farms – all with the shadow of the missing girl hanging over them still.

McGregor captures the details of rural life with incredibly detailed writing – the people and natural environments pass through beautifully described seasons and the book itself takes on the rhythm of nature’s steady heartbeat. However every so often there’s a small reveal of the missing girls last movements or a mention of maintenance work going on at the local reservoir that had me thinking “this is it now”…

More than anything else though I was drawn into the run of the mill comings and goings of a normal, rural community with its little foibles and intrigues. The closest comparison I can make is Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood with more realism.
5/5
** I received a free Kindle edition of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review **

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My very favourite poet is Dylan Thomas. These are some images from Laugharne. If you ever get the chance to visit I unreservedly recommend it – it’s the most beautiful, peaceful place and no wonder it was such an inspiration to him.