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Publisher's Summary

Below Deck is the highly anticipated debut novel from author Sophie Hardcastle. A heartbreakingly poetic and haunting story about the vagaries of consent, about who has the space to speak and who is believed. 

'And then, just like that, a thought bubbles inside me. It's a beginning; a new beginning; my beginning. The beginning of the story I tell myself in order to survive. We choose to breathe, don't we?'

Twenty-one-year-old Olivia hears the world in colour, but her life is mottled grey. Estranged from her parents, and living with her grandfather who is drowning in sadness, Oli faces the reality of life beyond university alone. When she wakes on a boat with no recollection of how she got there, she accepts the help of two strangers who change the course of her future forever. With Mac and Maggie, Oli learns to navigate a life upon open ocean and the world flowers into colours she's never seen before. Four years later, Oli, fluent in the language of the sea, is the only woman among men on a yacht delivery from Noumea to Auckland. In the darkness below deck, she learns that at sea, no one can hear you scream. Moving to London, Oli's life at sea is buried. When she meets Hugo, the wind changes, and her memories are dust blown into shapes. Reminding her of everything. 

Below Deck is about the moments that haunt us, the moments that fan out like ripples through the deep. So that everything else becomes everything after. 

©2020 Sophie Hardcastle (P)2020 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

 “An astonishing achievement.” (Sir Jonathan Bate, University of Oxford)

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Somewhere between the intersection of feminism and environmentalism lays this amazing story

What a HUGE story, I was hooked and propelled through this book, never wanting to put it down. Poetic and fierce I am excited to find this author and look forward to future works what a rockstar!

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