The Watermark | Granta

  • Published: 01/08/2024
  • ISBN: 9781783789658
  • Granta Books
  • 544 pages

The Watermark

Sam Mills

Rachel and Jaime: their story isn’t simple. It might not even be their story.

Augustus Fate, a once-lauded novelist and now renowned recluse, is struggling with his latest creation. But when Jaime and Rachel stumble into his remote cottage, he spies opportunity, imprisoning them inside his novel-in-progress. Now, the fledgling couple must try to find their way back home through a labyrinthine network of novels. ‘And as they move from Victorian Oxford to a utopian Manchester, a harsh Russian winter to an AI-dominated near-future, so too does the narrative of their relationship change time and again. Together, they must figure out if this relationship of so many presents can have any future at all.

The Watermark is a heart-stopping exploration of the narratives we cling to in the course of a life, and the tendency of the world to unravel them. Kaleidoscopic and wildly imaginative, it asks: how can we truly be ourselves, when Fate is pulling the strings?

Playful, romantic and very, very clever. Like Inception for booklovers. Sam Mills packs more ideas into one work of metafiction than most writers would manage in several lifetimes

Clare Pollard

A thrilling and original novel: an existential mystery, a love story, an absurdist quest.... A playful enquiry into ideas about freedom, fate, utopias, dystopias, AI, ethics and where truth might reside in a world of fakes. Richly imagined, wild and wise

Joanna Kavenna

A story about stories, an ingenious genre-tumble through literature, artistic expression, free-will, and how far-how deep-we will go for love. A compulsively readable, dizzyingly inventive novel that is both gloriously immense, and immensely, heart-wrenchingly intimate

Glen James Brown

The Author

SAM MILLS is the author of The Quiddity of Will Self, along with three young adult novels, including the award-winning Blackout. Her memoir about being a carer, The Fragments of My Father, was published in 2020. Sam has written for a number of publications, including the Guardian, Independent, 3 AM and London Magazine. She is the co-founder of the independent press Dodo Ink and lives in London looking after her father and cat.

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