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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  13 reviews
“The idea was lost but the memory was here.”

Phyllis Ewans, a prominent researcher in Lepidoptera and a keen walker, has died of old age. Thomas, a much younger fellow researcher of moths first met Phyllis when he was a child. He became her carer and companion, having rekindled her acquaintance in later life.

Increasingly possessed by thoughts that he somehow actually is Phy
Paperback, 176 pages
Published February 2019 by Influx Press
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  35 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Paul Fulcher
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
To my knowledge, Phyllis Ewans has only two great preoccupations in her long life: walking and moths. An interest in those same two subjects also grew within me after a number of years of knowing her; such was the power of her influence.  My predominate preoccupation today is with the study of Lepidoptera for my own academic research, and it was solely thanks to her that I followed this pathway.  It dominates my life - that is, of course, when I am not plagued by my illness.

Adam Scovell’s Mothl
Adam Nevill
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
British weird fiction. Contains many of my own aesthetic interests: the English landscape, peculiarly charged domestic spaces, a suggestion of the uncanny and a mind unravelling at the heart of it all. Restrained, precise, perceptive writing. Lovely looking paperback too, with flaps.
Jackie Law
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Parasitic wasps lay their eggs inside other creatures, such as a pupating caterpillar, where they will hatch and feast on the host from the inside out. These body snatchers are referenced in Mothlight – a darkly atmospheric tale of a young academic, Thomas, who becomes obsessed with the past life of an older acquaintance from his childhood.

Thomas first meets Dr Phyllis Ewans when, as a young boy, he accompanies his grandfather to the home she shares with her much older sister, Billie. Thomas not
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-for-hbr
Thomas, the narrator of Adam Scovell’s quiet new novel Mothlight, is deeply affected by two things: moths, which he studies as a researcher, and the life of Phyllis Ewans, a family acquaintance who, likewise, is a researcher in Lepidoptera. Over the years, Thomas has formed a close relationship with her: “My visits were no longer those of a curious friend desiring the secrets of her past life, but those of a caring relative.” Phyllis is a taciturn, solitary woman whose past life remains a myster ...more
Matthew Adamson
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
In Adam Scovell’s debut novel his narrator, Thomas, tries to piece together the mysteries of Phyllis Ewan’s life, a woman he knew in youth and came to care for at the end of her days.

The sole beneficiary of Miss Ewan’s will, Thomas takes up residence in her house and begins the arduous task of sorting through the articles of a life lived. Memories of events real and perhaps imagined are interwoven around photographs from her life, photographs which appear in the text.

The depiction of grief is ha
Seregil of Rhiminee
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Risingshadow.

Adam Scovell's Mothlight is a wonderful slice of British weird fiction that will appeal to everybody who loves uncanny stories. It's one of the most captivating novels of the year, because it's something different yet strangely familiar and compelling in its depiction and exploration of grief, loneliness, memory and uncertainty. It's an excellent debut novel worthy of attention.

Mothlight tells of Thomas who becomes obsessed by the past life of the lepidopteri
Lisa Tuttle
May 04, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a very attractive book, well-designed, it is nice to hold -- well done, Influx Press. And I was intrigued by the author's decision to tell a story rather in the manner of W. G. Sebold, illustrated by a lot of old photographs, often puzzling, even inexplicable, snapshots of very ordinary things and places and unidentified people. The narrative voice, and the story as it begins to unfold, are reminiscent of Robert Aickman. It's not fair, I know, to measure a new writer against greats of th ...more
Yvonne Davies
Thomas’ visits to Phyllis and her sister with his grandparents, made such an impression that it shaped his career path. Phyllis Ewans was a well-known researcher in Lepidoptera, in layman's terms moths. Years on and befriending Phyllis again until she died, he starts to piece together clues to her life.
From when Thomas was a little boy, he had an obsession with Phyllis, from the 1st meeting he was fascinated with the moths displayed on the wall. As the story continues and Thomas rekindles his fr
Danny Beusch
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The most unusual book I've read for ages.

A book about identity, and discovery. The disintegration of the protagonist, who is both there and not there at all, is very striking. Very evocative, in terms of writing and layout - you can almost feel the dust on the old photos.

Incredible work really.
Steve Gillway
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adventure, bio, ecology
Strange but engrossing read into a world of moths, walking in Wales and times of unspoken pasts.
Rob Jackson
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very personal and unusual book. The style and subject reminds me a lot of The Coma or Remainder. This book draws you in and compels you to keep reading.
Anne Goodwin
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Picturing identity: Mothlight & Trick
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