All Our Squandered Beauty

(4 customer reviews)

£10.00

Pre-order now. – Publication/delivery in January 2021.

Kara’s father died at sea – or did he? She has spent her teenage years struggling with grief and searching for answers. When she accepts her art tutor’s offer to attend a summer school on a Greek island, she discovers once again that everything is not what it seems, and on her return, she faces several uncomfortable truths.

Author Amanda Huggins was a finalist in the Costa Short Story Award 2018 and winner of the 2020 Saboteur Award for best poetry collection.10

Description

Pre-order now. – Publication/delivery in January 2021.

Kara’s father died at sea – or did he? She has spent her teenage years struggling with grief and searching for answers. When she accepts her art tutor’s offer to attend a summer school on a Greek island, she discovers once again that everything is not what it seems, and on her return, she faces several uncomfortable truths. Could Jake, a local trawlerman, be the key to uncovering the past, and will Kara embrace the possibilities her future offers, or turn back to the sea?

The Author

Amanda Huggins is the author of three collections of short fiction – Brightly Coloured Horses, Separated From the Sea and Scratched Enamel Heart. She has also published a poetry collection, The Collective Nouns for Birds, which won the 2020 Saboteur Award for Best Poetry Pamphlet.

She has been placed and listed in numerous competitions including Fish, Bridport, Bath, the Alpine Fellowship Writing Award and the Colm Toibin International Short Story Award. In 2018 her story Red was a finalist in the Costa Short Story Award. Her travel writing has also won several prizes, notably the BGTW New Travel Writer of the Year in 2014, and she has twice been a finalist in the Bradt Guides New Travel Writer Award.

Amanda grew up on the North Yorkshire coast, moved to London in the 1990s, and now lives in West Yorkshire.

4 reviews for All Our Squandered Beauty

  1. Gail Aldwin

    Review for All Our Squandered Beauty
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    All Our Squandered Beauty is a coming-of-age novella set in the 1970s where the protagonist, Kara, a fisherman’s daughter struggles to come to terms with the loss of her father. She rejects the prospect of early marriage that her best friend settles for and focuses instead on future studies in London. During the summer she spends time on a Greek island where she learns more about herself and her relationships with others. Kara can’t see that she’s fragile but gradually she learns some mistakes can be rectified while others she has to live with. The sea provides a backdrop to the narrative, sometimes powerful ‘to see the water change from grey to ink and the sky deepen to fire’ and at other times benign, ‘millpond calm, a deep deep blue.’ This is a wonderful read filled with tenderness, charm and hope.

  2. Sarah Linley

    A stunning debut novella from an award-winning writer.
    All Our Squandered Beauty is a beautifully told coming-of-age tale. Kara is 17 and has her whole life ahead of her, but will she choose the bright lights of London or the familiar call of the sea?
    With exquisite prose, Huggins perfectly captures that transition to womanhood as Kara moves from her parochial seaside town to spend the summer in Greece with her art tutor and his bohemian friends.
    The novella is full of evocative descriptions which transport the reader to a different time and place. The poignant ending is perfectly pitched.
    Reminiscent of Bonjour Tristesse, this is a story which will capture your heart and deserves to be a classic.

  3. Tracy Fells

    ‘All our squandered beauty’ is the wonderful new novella by Amanda Huggins and my only wish is that I could have kept on reading as I didn’t want it to end. Huggins writes with heart, intuition and a genuine understanding of what makes her characters tick. Her prose is fluid and compelling, woven through with passages of such lyrical beauty that this often felt like a love letter to the North Yorkshire coast (where the author grew up). Kara is seventeen in 1978, a talented artist who is struggling to cope with the aftermath of her beloved dad’s death. His fishing boat was found deserted at sea, his body never recovered, so Kara is stuck in the nightmare stage of her grief, believing he’s not dead but simply lost, or worse he’s abandoned her. These thoughts are damaging her relationships with her mum, best friend and boyfriends.

    The Yorkshire coastal setting, and the Greek island, are enigmatically brought to life by Huggins’ skillful imagery. I particularly enjoyed how local folklore and legends were integral to Kara’s inner world and the significance of beach pebbles and glass became almost magical. Immersed in Kara’s 1978 of cheesecloth and flares I felt completely at home, and didn’t want to leave. She finds passion and romance in Greece, then maybe real love and understanding when she returns to Yorkshire. It’s through the love and kindness of others that Kara finally begins to heal and realise how to balance loss and love, and still achieve her ambitions. For me, the ending was mesmerising and magical, making this a truly fulfilling read.

  4. Allison Symes

    Review for All Our Squandered Beauty
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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