'He felt again the dizzying weight of all the mystery of the earth and everything in it and beyond it. He felt the resurgence of his curiosity and his yearning, and at the same time felt more and more afraid that he would never find what he'd come for, that the monsters, after all, might not be here.'
Insomnia and the railway-line night work beyond my garret window means I have just re-read and line-by-line dissected West by Carys Davies. Already a huge fan of her short stories, I can't recommend this enough – the best debut I've read so far this summer. A beguiling, page-turning American fable seeped in desire and devotion, devastating grief, and the search for wonder beyond life's comfort zone all written with a deft economy and a simmering, shimmering 'coal and salt' humour.