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The Plankton Collector

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  9 ratings  ·  7 reviews
In different guises, the Plankton Collector visits members of a family torn apart by grief and regret. He teaches them the difference between the discarded weight of unhappy memories and the lightness borne by happiness recalled.
Paperback, 84 pages
Published September 26th 2018 by New Welsh Rarebyte
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Jackie Law
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
“That picture […] will be amongst the snaps which she keeps all her life in the old chocolate box, the captured iconic moments of seaside holidays, made happy by a trick of memory”

The Plankton Collector, by Cath Barton, tells the story of a family struggling to cope in the wake of a death. Rose and David live in comfortable surroundings with their three children but their marriage is not a happy one. Each believes that, over the years, they have given the other what was expected and required, ye
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This unusual and skillfully crafted tale is filled with sublime descriptive language that has left lasting images in my mind. There are a couple of themes that cleverly link the different parts of the story. The ending will get you thinking!
Jan Kaneen
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this strange and lyrical tale of how a family grow apart, suffer loss, then start the recovery process together with a gentle helping hand from the mysterious plankton collector. This shape-shifting literary presence is lightly described so it becomes entirely believable. The narrative voice that does so haunts the story, like a calm, all-seeing inner voice that guides the reader all the way, showing us what to see and hear, navigating our path so we focus on what it wants us ...more
Heidi J.
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had been meaning to read this novella, which won the New Welsh Writing Award in 2017, and I kept putting it off because it’s about grief, and it would be late, before bed, and that sounded depressing, but the book is anything but. From the very first sentence, it’s like being able to crawl into the lap of your grandmother or grandfather in a rocking chair. There’s a flow to the language which is like breathing in and out, or rocking gently in a boat, and then the characters are drawn with such ...more
Debbie O'Neill
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
An unusual title draws the reader in to discover the connections between a very English version of Clarence in ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ and a family emotionally scattered by grief. Cath Barton effortlessly creates a heady mixture of mid-century real world and magical realism. Her poetic prose evokes a bygone time, which none but the very old can have experienced, but leaves us with the feeling that we absolutely remember those days. The story takes place over a few months and deals with themes of ...more
Bronwen Griffiths
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
A beautifully written novella about loss and grief. At times it has an almost child-like innocence to it but a thread of darker, more adult themes also runs through it.
rated it really liked it
Jan 14, 2019
Jenny Etches
rated it it was ok
Sep 29, 2018
Penny Reeves
rated it it was amazing
Dec 15, 2018
marked it as to-read
Oct 01, 2018
Cary B
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Oct 18, 2018
Anwen Hayward
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Dec 17, 2018
is currently reading it
Sep 28, 2018
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