‘As If I Were a River’ is the accomplished debut novel by Amanda Saint. It explores three generations of women: Una, Laura and Kate, mainly following the daughter, Laura’s, and granddaughter, Kate’s stories. The setting alternates between the 1970s and modern times, and this shift between eras is skilfully managed.
The narrative felt strongest for me when in Kate’s viewpoint, and it’s very much her journey that is central to the novel’s themes of loss and acceptance.
The style of writing is straight-forward, which leant power to the emotions. I felt very drawn into both Laura and Kate’s lives, and the short sections about the grandmother, Una, added a sense of intrigue.
This is a beautifully written novel that I’d happily recommend.