FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Diving Belles has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Expedited shipping available on this book. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Diving Belles Hardcover – 19 Jan 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£14.99
£0.49 £0.01
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£14.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

  • Diving Belles
  • +
  • Weathering
Total price: £31.98
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (19 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408816857
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408816851
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 462,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

These stories are brilliantly uncanny: not because of the ghosts and giants and talking birds which haunt their margins, but because of what those unsettling presences mean for the very human characters at their centre ... A startling, and startlingly good, debut (Jon McGregor)

Lucy Wood has an intensity and clarity of expression, deeply rooted in a sense of place. Her stories have a purity and strength, and an underlying human warmth; they resonate in the mind (Philip Hensher)

Each year, book blurbs tell you that a thousand new writers have fresh, distinctive voices. But fresh, distinctive voices are actually very rare. Lucy Wood has one (Michel Faber)

Enchanting short stories (Guardian, Books of the Year)

These are stories from the places where magic and reality meet. It is as if the Cornish moors and coasts have whispered secrets into Lucy Wood's ears and, in response, she has fashioned exquisite tales of mystery and humanity. In her prose, the fabulous moves across the everyday like the surf moving over the shore, shifting it in subtle measures, leaving it altered in its wake (Ali Shaw, author of The Girl with Glass Feet)

Cornish folklore for the modern day done in a beautiful, spooky way (Harper's Bazaar)

A vibrant new voice (Tatler)

Utterly different in every way from Keret, in their Angela Carter-ish Englishness, but equally compelling (Erica Wagner The Times)

Wood's finely wrought collection has touches of a benign Angela Carter and recalls the playful yet political transmogrifications of Atwood and Byatt (Guardian)

[A] refreshing debut collection about seasiders young and old ... A winning combination of spooky mystery and toast-and-tea cosiness, with much warmth and tenderness, even as an unsettling quality remains, as if Wood might be enjoying a joke you can't quite figure out (Metro)

One of the best aspects of these stories is the way in which the daily lives of their characters become imbued with a mystical, folkloric significance ... although many readers will enjoy the evocations of Cornish myth and the looming presence of the landscape, Wood's major talent is as an observer of the everyday (Times Literary Supplement)

Wood plays with the county's myth and folklore to make it seem exotic and eldritch ... Wood has a wonderfully deadpan way with her surreal subject matter, and writes equally well about the more quotidian topics of work and love (Literary Review)

Her use of Cornish folk tales as the backdrop for very modern tales of loss and loneliness was inspired (Jon McGregor, Irish Times)

Book Description

A luminous, startling and utterly spellbinding debut which introduces a spectacular new voice in contemporary British fiction

See all Product Description

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Oh Diving Belles, how I love thee so.

I would leave the review at that but I accept that it won't help you much. Diving Belles is a beautiful short story collection by Lucy Wood that weaves the sea, the land, the people and the mythology of Cornwall into enchanting yet modern tales.

There are tales of husbands lost at sea but not lost forever. The wife that takes a trip in a diving bell for one last encounter. The house, slowly reclaimed by the sea. The pagan care home. Tales of the young and of the old. Yet they feel very grounded in everyday life. The woman who is turning into stone checks that there's nothing in the fridge that will go off whilst she's otherwise engaged.

Notes from the House Spirits is probably my favourite story. Told from the point of view of the house or the spirits of the house, they watch humans come and go. They don't see things quite the same way we would yet they record the history of the house and its inhabitants. Odd that this is the least Cornish of the stories yet I absolutely adored her descriptions of the sea and coast in the others. The house could reside anywhere, though it does feel like a rural setting. I've always been fond of novels where the house is almost a character in the story so for one to revolve around it was a treat.

Even the placement of the final story is fitting, showing that it is a combined piece of work and not a random collection of short prose. The droll seems to pull together elements of the stories and also give the sense of an ending. Indeed, this quote may echo some of your feelings as you reach the end:

"So, he had let the stories slip away. They weren't buried anywhere. He thought they might have been buried somewhere. He realised now why the world had become flat and empty.
Read more ›
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By D. Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this short story collection very impressive.

Lucy Wood conjures up a world where the most bizarre and the most everyday things rub shoulders easily. A care home caters for clients who aren't accepted anywhere else - chiefly retired witches and wizards. A company, the "Diving Belles' of the title story, helps women to retrieve their stolen-away menfolk from the sea using a diving bell (and net). You can even buy gift vouchers. A woman is distracted from urgent chores by her slightly annoying ex. The things she really needs to do (locking the windows, emptying the fridge, calling her boss to say she won't be at work for a bit) have to be completed soon, before she turns into a standing stone, a state of affairs which could last months or years. A boy visits his grandmother who has taken to living in a cave on the beach. The spirits on an empty house recall, with slight puzzlement, the ebb and flow of life over generations of its occupants. And so on. The stories are full of loneliness and regret. Couples meet and awkwardly fail to communicate. Things change and may be coming out right or they may not: the stories often take place on the cusp of changes or transformations, and often they don't quite give away what happened in the end. We just have to imagine it.

Wood has a real gift for making these extraordinary circumstances seem entirely natural - and thereby placing "normal" experiences and dilemmas (a teenager's uncertainty about "growing up", a sick parent, a grieving widow who feels guilty after her husband drowned) in a startling new light. This is summed up in the final story, where a storyteller wanders a small town, as if in farewell. Things seem to be coming to an end for him.
Read more ›
Comment 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fantastical tales, most of which feature the sea and a heightened sense of the (super)natural world. The first and titular story tells of a woman who had lost her husband to the sea - to become a merman - and she decides to go down in a diving bell to find him at the bottom of the sea 20 years later. The revelation is both magical and touching, and paves the way the 11 stories following it.
 
A feature that binds these stories together in this collection is Wood's interweaving of magical elements into realist settings. For example, in "Countless Stones" a woman gradually turns to stone from her toes upwards in the heart of winter, while she good-naturedly house-hunts with an ex-boyfriend. It reminded me of A. S. Byatt's story, "A Stone Woman", from her 2003 collection "Little Black Book of Stories".

There is a dreamlike quality to most of the pieces, especially in "Notes from the House Spirits", where in an ironic twist, the ghosts in a house are distressed by the sudden departure of an occupant without taking her belongings. The spirits note that "they have become left-behind things. They have become awkward and extra, things that don't belong. It is inevitable."

Familial relationships are explored in other stories like "Mothers and Little People" where a grownup daughter presumes the loneliness of her divorced mother during a visit, and accidentally 'sees' that the latter might not be as isolated as she thought when she smears on her mom's mysterious eye cream.
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback