Reviews for Reservoir 13

Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

While on a winter vacation with her parents in a northern England village, a 13-year-old girl goes for a walk on the moors alone and disappears. This event, plus the intrusive police investigation and fruitless search of the area's multiple reservoirs and surrounding territory, shock the townspeople, lending the story its tense tone. But the presumed crime remains unsolved, and though the teen is not forgotten, life goes on. As the novel unfolds, an unrelenting accretion of declarative sentences describe the village residents, their local traditions, the weather, the seasons, and even the wildlife, the narrative deftly getting us inside the lives of the many characters, allowing us to understand their isolation and interdependence. Years slowly pass within the tale yet go all too quickly-as in real life. McGregor's (This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You) writing is extraordinary, and while the narrative technique is initially wearing in the way village life can be-the monotony, the knowledge of everybody's business-it coheres remarkably into a knowable, comforting, ultimately compelling world. VERDICT This treatise on timelessness and human nature was recently long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Highly recommended.-Reba Leiding, -emeritus, James Madison Univ. Lib., Harrisonburg, VA Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

McGregor's unforgettable novel begins with a 13-year-old girl's disappearance from an English village, and then tracks the village through the following years, as teenagers become adults, babies are born, people grow old and die, and couples get together and separate while what happened to the girl remains a mystery. Rebecca Shaw and her parents are visiting the village over Christmas, staying at the barn conversion they rented the previous summer, when Rebecca vanishes during a walk on the moors. Residents, police, and mountain and cave rescue teams search but find nothing. As time passes, the case stays open and unsolved. Local teenagers who knew Becky better than they admit to parents or police share memories of her among themselves while having sex, drinking alcohol, doing drugs, and growing up; the school custodian is arrested on child pornography charges; a successful man returns to the village temporarily; an unhappy wife leaves permanently; the vicar collects confidences; one day the potter smashes his pottery. Twins born early in the novel grow up to hear the story of the missing girl, now part of a village culture marked by dark undercurrents and occasional moments of light. McGregor portrays individuals and the community as a whole, across seasons, in mundane scenes and moments of heartbreak, cruelty, and guilt. Close-ups of flora and fauna are set against a landscape of reservoirs, dens, and caves, the village hall, the pub, and the flooded quarry. This is an ambitious tour de force that demands the reader's attention; those willing to follow along will be rewarded with a singular and haunting story. (Oct.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* Thirteen-year-old Rebecca Shaw went missing on a late-night walk near a small town in England's Peak District, an area known for its quarries, steep ridges, caves, and reservoirs. When the subsequent details about the search parties, news coverage, and grieving parents are provided, the reader's expectations are expertly orchestrated to fill in the usual tropes in McGregor's brilliant, structurally innovative tale. Rather than the typical mystery, however, we are instead treated to a profound and nuanced mosaic of small-town life. Although the search for Rebecca (or Becky or Bex) goes on, so does life. We follow several dozen characters through their births, deaths, and minutiae in between over the next 13 years. Each chapter begins on New Year's Eve and covers a year with descriptions of nature and the perceptions of the townsfolk without giving any clear primacy, illustrating the fleeting nature of time. McGregor masterfully employs a free, indirect style that forgoes quotation marks and seamlessly blends narrative, dialogue, and wonderfully observant, poetic musings. McGregor excels at breathing life into characters with brief phrases or quotes that add up to deep, three-dimensional creations. Longlisted for the Man Booker, McGregor's novel's subtly devastating impact ultimately imparts wisdom about the tenuous and priceless gift of life. For fans of Elizabeth Strout and Richard Russo.--Kelly, Bill Copyright 2017 Booklist


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

McGregor's unforgettable novel begins with a 13-year-old girl's disappearance from an English village, and then tracks the village through the following years, as teenagers become adults, babies are born, people grow old and die, and couples get together and separate while what happened to the girl remains a mystery. Rebecca Shaw and her parents are visiting the village over Christmas, staying at the barn conversion they rented the previous summer, when Rebecca vanishes during a walk on the moors. Residents, police, and mountain and cave rescue teams search but find nothing. As time passes, the case stays open and unsolved. Local teenagers who knew Becky better than they admit to parents or police share memories of her among themselves while having sex, drinking alcohol, doing drugs, and growing up; the school custodian is arrested on child pornography charges; a successful man returns to the village temporarily; an unhappy wife leaves permanently; the vicar collects confidences; one day the potter smashes his pottery. Twins born early in the novel grow up to hear the story of the missing girl, now part of a village culture marked by dark undercurrents and occasional moments of light. McGregor portrays individuals and the community as a whole, across seasons, in mundane scenes and moments of heartbreak, cruelty, and guilt. Close-ups of flora and fauna are set against a landscape of reservoirs, dens, and caves, the village hall, the pub, and the flooded quarry. This is an ambitious tour de force that demands the reader's attention; those willing to follow along will be rewarded with a singular and haunting story. (Oct.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

While on a winter vacation with her parents in a northern England village, a 13-year-old girl goes for a walk on the moors alone and disappears. This event, plus the intrusive police investigation and fruitless search of the area's multiple reservoirs and surrounding territory, shock the townspeople, lending the story its tense tone. But the presumed crime remains unsolved, and though the teen is not forgotten, life goes on. As the novel unfolds, an unrelenting accretion of declarative sentences describe the village residents, their local traditions, the weather, the seasons, and even the wildlife, the narrative deftly getting us inside the lives of the many characters, allowing us to understand their isolation and interdependence. Years slowly pass within the tale yet go all too quickly-as in real life. McGregor's (This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You) writing is extraordinary, and while the narrative technique is initially wearing in the way village life can be-the monotony, the knowledge of everybody's business-it coheres remarkably into a knowable, comforting, ultimately compelling world. VERDICT This treatise on timelessness and human nature was recently long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Highly recommended.-Reba Leiding, -emeritus, James Madison Univ. Lib., Harrisonburg, VA Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* Thirteen-year-old Rebecca Shaw went missing on a late-night walk near a small town in England's Peak District, an area known for its quarries, steep ridges, caves, and reservoirs. When the subsequent details about the search parties, news coverage, and grieving parents are provided, the reader's expectations are expertly orchestrated to fill in the usual tropes in McGregor's brilliant, structurally innovative tale. Rather than the typical mystery, however, we are instead treated to a profound and nuanced mosaic of small-town life. Although the search for Rebecca (or Becky or Bex) goes on, so does life. We follow several dozen characters through their births, deaths, and minutiae in between over the next 13 years. Each chapter begins on New Year's Eve and covers a year with descriptions of nature and the perceptions of the townsfolk without giving any clear primacy, illustrating the fleeting nature of time. McGregor masterfully employs a free, indirect style that forgoes quotation marks and seamlessly blends narrative, dialogue, and wonderfully observant, poetic musings. McGregor excels at breathing life into characters with brief phrases or quotes that add up to deep, three-dimensional creations. Longlisted for the Man Booker, McGregor's novel's subtly devastating impact ultimately imparts wisdom about the tenuous and priceless gift of life. For fans of Elizabeth Strout and Richard Russo.--Kelly, Bill Copyright 2017 Booklist

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