Slip of a Fish by Amy Arnold

This is a work of very new and refreshing narration and shows a completely different point of view. The whole novel is an exploration of meaning, making us connect the dots, making us try to decipher a disturbed mind, sucking us in it, making us try to understand the way a different consciousness than ours thinks and feels.

“Leaving, grieving, left, grieved, greft. Grieved hangs on far too long, don’t you agree? Aggrieved. They won’t stop coming once they’ve started, words, leaves. All of a sudden, all of a.

Please grieve.

Please leave a message.

I won’t. Won’t leave words anywhere these days.”

Ash is a confused soul, stuck in her own words, repetitions, observations of things irrelevant to others like birds, trees and nature in general. She is a woman, mother, wife, she obviously had an affair with a woman, but there is nothing we can be completely sure of. Was there a lover, or was she a figment of her imagination, was there a suicide attempt, was she sexually molested by her father? Has she molested her own beloved daughter. What was the incident that happened? Above all she is obsessive and has little connection to the real world, she has to be told everything many times, she can’t do much herself, she is not even fit being on her own with her child. Anything can make her act strangely, she can even be jealous of the dog.

She seeks comfort in words, in collecting words, she finds explanations in words, not in the meaning behind them.

“and if you take the words as only words, if you take carpet words, not book words, if they don’t belong, don’t have to belong, you can make sense, you can begin to make sense, piece together, and the problem understanding or not understanding is hardly ever, or never, with the words themselves.”

One thing is certain, she needs professional help, and nobody is giving it to her. She just keeps struggling, unable to manage in the real world.

Her narrative perspective is unique, unusual and refreshing. Making us question consciousness, sanity and daily life. While reading the feeling of unease is beyond intense, it gives you discomfort, tension. The wait for something bad to happen is constant and it just keeps building up. A tragedy. The tragedy does not come, but the whole novel is a tragedy, a story about a person who needs instant help and goes on living without it.

 “words are worse than jigsaw pieces when you’re trying to fit them, you realise, they’re a lot worse, so you have to keep fitting until they’re as right as you know, which may or may not fit the picture inside the cover because there was only one picture, there wasn’t a copy.”

Impressive, unique and quite an emotional read. Fantastic!

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