Contemporary Literature

Cold Water by Gwendoline Riley

By Gwendoline Riley

Carmel McKisco is wry, risky and whole of longing: a twenty-year-old lady operating nights in a Manchester dive bar. bring to a halt from her relations, and from Tony, her carefree ex, she forges unusual alliances along with her buyers, and daydreams, half-heartedly, approximately escaping to Cornwall.

Cold Water is a poignant picaresque of barmaids and barflies; eccentric participants all one way or the other tethered to their earlier - now not least Carmel herself, who's nurturing mordant fixations on either her misplaced love, Tony, and her washed-up adolescent hero: a singer from Macclesfield. As she spins out the times and nights of an unrelentingly wet iciness she reveals herself forced to confront her romantic preoccupations, for greater or worse.

Literary Awards
Betty Trask Award (2002)

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I need to find Noah! ” “Shhh . . shhh. It’s okay, Nate. I’m here with you. Noah isn’t here, but I am. Come back and cuddle with me. ” Nate looked uncertain. Unwilling. Hesitantly, he crawled back into my arms, and I noticed his breathing was quick and rapid. My own pulse matched his as my worry escalated. “It’s okay, sweetie. Close your eyes and think happy thoughts. Like . . hot chocolate on a snowy day. With marshmallows. You love that, right? Or a puppy’s wet little nose? One who likes to kiss you hello.

Except for my headache that is pounding in my brain. The policemen leave. The doctor asks to speak to Daddy outside. ” Daddy asks me. I shrug my shoulders. I will be okay if Daddy goes. It doesn’t matter. Because I feel like I am alone whether Daddy is with me or not. 43 10 Ashley The night of Nate’s hospital visit, I made sure that I was home in time for dinner. I had called Pete to let him know that I would pick up Swiss Chalet, Nate’s favourite, on my way home. I doled out the chicken and ribs.

I slam into the door. But I’m not fast enough. Dad grabs me. He picks me up. He is holding me too tight. My arms feel all tingly. It’s weird. I’m so scared. “No, no, no . ” I scream. I need to get away. I punch Daddy. I don’t want to. I love Daddy. But I punch him. I need to go outside. “No Daddy . . no, no, nooo! ” 41 My dad holds tighter. I kick hard. As hard as I can. Daddy calls for help. He yells so loud it hurts my ears. Two doctors rush over. ” one asks. “I don’t know,” Daddy answers. ” I’m more scared now that the doctors are asking questions.

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