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Storm and Grace

What a magnificent story. For those who love the sea, have dreamed of breathing underwater and are satisfied with nothing less than full immersion, reading this has a magical quality: A story of a powerful attraction between a man and a woman; a story of passion and dangerous relationships. It also involves the art of free diving, where one breath is all you are allowed before sinking as deep as you can in the ocean.

 Grace is studying Marine Biology and is also a journalist for a dive magazine. She is asked to interview a man, Storm, who holds the record for the deepest dive on a single breath. She is mesmerized by his powerful appearance and personality. Similarly, he devours Grace with touch, and whispers, and promises. He promises to send an airline ticket for her to join him at his home on an island. It is here we meet the ghost- like chorus. They whisper and float around the plot always, almost like a Greek chorus. Their whispers and rustlings give warnings and enlarge the understanding of what seems to be an amazing sequence of events.

 Grace goes to the Island, and obsessed, Storm controls her mind, body and breath. He suggests she try free diving, and when she has a successful first dive, the champion diver declares that he can make her “The World’s Deepest Woman”. For Grace, who grew up moving from country to country with her family, never making lasting friends, never being quite sure of herself and always shy, it is as if she is catapulted into stardom. She is Storm’s star! And so the training begins. Storm oversees her weight training, her breathing training, and her yoga. They go out diving often, as Storm continues to challenge his own records.

 Gradually Grace is weaned away from friends at home, her mother, and other people on the island. It is here we hear the voices, gently warning, checking on her need to please.  The reader is almost holding her own breath by now. The descriptions of how to fill your body with air, and how to overcome the weight of water, slowing of your heart, and the mind control, are vivid.

 The style of writing of this novel is almost poetic, it is beautiful and moving. Katherine has used words from the play, Medea, for her ethereal wisps that float around the plot. The reader is drawn in to an understanding of how this story will unfold, and how Grace’s destiny was always following a path.

 A book to treasure.

AuthorKathryn Heyman
PublisherAllen and Unwin
DistributorAllen and Unwin
ReleasedFebruary 2017