Flesh and Bone and Water is highly atmospheric from the get go, Sauma brings the colourful and hectic Rio De Janeiro to life through André’s childhood. In present time, André is living in London and loneliness is sweeping over him as his children begin to fly from the nest and his wife continues their separation. A letter from his childhood love not only sends him down memory lane, but it makes him have to accept a shocking truth.
Flitting from the past to the present, we learn of André’s colourful and privileged upbringing as he embraces his teen years in the 80s. The music, the girls, the drinks and the beaches are vividly described and alongside André’s youthful thoughts, it created such a nostalgic atmosphere.
As Sauma steers us through the years, we learn of André’s complex relationship with his father and his passionate crush on Luana, the maid’s daughter. The dynamics of these two relationships are delicately examined through Sauma’s thoughtful and captivating words, which continued to highlight the contrast between the two.
When the twist is revealed, the tempo of the story seems to change as the past crashes into the present and the emotions feel even more raw.
The sheer realism that flows throughout these pages and the diversity of the characters makes this such an eye-opening and engrossing coming-of-age story.
But I’ll end like I started and continue to rave about the atmosphere that is the beating heart throughout this story, which truly mesmerised me.
Fans of Picoult and Patchett will enjoy Sauma’s style.
Flesh and Bone and Water is out now in paperback and eBook versions from Penguin.
Stay safe everyone ♡
Until next time, Chloé x