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The Haunting of Strawberry Water

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  12 reviews
A gripping tale of post-natal depression, this short story reads like a modern retelling of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and has much in common with Sarah Water' The Little Stranger in its realisation of psychological distress as a supernatural phenomenon.

A new mother, traumatised by an arduous labour, tries to come to terms with being abandoned as a ba
Paperback, 64 pages
Published February 8th 2020 by Myriad Editions
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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Dannii Elle
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the dark and haunting tale of postnatal depression, with echoes of The Yellow Wallpaper. It begins by featuring the protagonist as a child herself before introducing her as an adult, then a wife, and, finally, a mother.

The writing and the storyline were equally as disturbing and worked in tandem to deliver to the reader the same perpetually unsettling emotions as the protagonist herself was feeling. Everything became infused with a miasma of dread. For example, the sky is described as "p
Abbie | ab_reads
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gifted by the publisher for an honest review

A haunting and raw exploration of a daughter’s non-existent relationship with her mother who left her aged one, and the effect that has on her when she becomes a mother herself. Chilling and honest, this is the mash up of supernatural and unconventional motherhood that I never knew I needed. If you only buy one of these editions, make it this one!
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: february-2020
In The Haunting of Strawberry Water, short story writer and playwright Tara Gould focuses upon a new mother 'in the throes of post-natal depression'.  The protagonist's pregnancy has thrown up past turmoil, in which she is trying to understand why she herself was abandoned as a baby 'by the mother she never knew'.  Gould's story sounded wonderfully mysterious; it is set in a 1920s bungalow in the countryside, in which 'supernatural forces begin to take hold in this gripping and heartrending tale ...more
The Literary Shed
Jun 08, 2020 rated it liked it

There’s a great sense of nostalgia and loss pervading Tara Gould’s short story, The Haunting of Strawberry Water, published by Myriad Editions as a small format paperback.

Paying more than a nod to the Gothic tradition, from the very first words, we are made aware of the narrator’s longing for the mother she never knew, a ‘shadowy, indistinct figure’ who haunts an old Polaroid taken in the house in Strawberry Water in which she grew up. So strong is the narrator’s yearning for a mother figure tha
The Coycaterpillar Reads
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Haunting of Strawberry Water catapults you into an ethereal memory of an important figure.  A Mother.  An extension of yourself, connected by genes and love.  Someone that will stand by you until their last breath.  They can protect you or they can destroy that link forever.  Tara Gould depicts an elegant but deeply heart-breaking tome that displays the links between motherhood and mental health.  It’s disturbing but so very perfect.  Gould is an artist of trauma, she knows exactly how to in ...more
Nicola Smith
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a fabulous little read. With just 48 small pages of text (the book is only 64 pages in total) you might think there's not going to be much to it but you'd be wrong. It's a really thought-provoking story.

It's a story of motherhood and abandonment with hidden depths that are still making me think. Our narrator's mother left when she was very young. All she has is a Polaroid photo where just a small trace of her mother is visible. Despite that, she clings to it as she grows up. What's part
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Haunting of Strawberry Water is a really thought-provoking and touching short story about a woman who has recently had a baby, Freya, with her husband, Michael.

She was abandoned as a baby, barely a year old, by her own mother, Olivia, aged 32, and all she has left is a Polaroid photo with just a small glimpse of her mother in one corner. The photo was taken in her childhood home, Strawberry Water, so named because the river at the bottom of the bungalow's garden turns a deep reddish pink if
Contrary Reader
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
A neat little haunting tale that takes in themes of motherhood, pregnancy and loss of a parent. It has some beautiful turns of phrase and language use scattered through it that add to the pink, watery imagery that resides throughout
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A really great, very short read that is beautifully written. A well developed glimpse into post-natal depression (especially considering how short the book is).
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sep 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
For a short story, this packs a punch. The ending is abrupt and vague, but perhaps Gould intended for the reader to draw their own conclusions about what was really happening.
Amy Victoria
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An affecting short story about past and present trauma. The evocation of place is superb - beautifully written.
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