Say Say Say by Lila Savage
A beautiful, bracingly honest debut novel about the triangle formed between a young woman and the couple whose life she enters one transformative year: a story about love and compassion, the fluidity of desire, and the myriad ways of devotion.
Ella is nearing thirty, and not yet living the life she imagined. Her artistic ambitions as a student in Minnesota have given way to an unintended career in caregiving. One spring, Bryn--a retired carpenter--hires her to help him care for Jill, his wife of many years. A car accident caused a brain injury that has left Jill verbally diminished; she moves about the house like a ghost of her former self, often able to utter, like an incantation, only the words that comprise this novel's title.
As Ella is drawn ever deeper into the couple's household, her presence unwanted but wholly necessary, she is profoundly moved by the tenderness Bryn shows toward the wife he still fiercely loves. Ella is startled by the yearning this awakens in her, one that complicates her feelings for her girlfriend, Alix, and causes her to look at relationships of all kinds--between partners, between employer and employee, and above all between men and women--in new ways.
Tightly woven, humane and insightful, tracing unflinchingly the most intimate reaches of a young woman's heart and mind, Say Say Say is a riveting story about what it means to love, in a world where time is always running out.
'Say Say Say is something quite special, unlike anything else I've ever read. Lila Savage's imagination is warm and generous. Her novel is haunting, original, intelligent.' - Tessa Hadley
'I cannot think when I last read a novel which moved me so deeply. Her approach is both unflinching and extraordinarily tender.' - Sarah Perry
'Say Say Say will likely make you cry ... It is a book written for the better angels of our nature.' - Wall Street Journal
'Brilliant, compelling, entertaining and a joy to read. It is an extraordinarily good book.' - Philippa Perry
'Say Say Say is a powerful and thought-provoking novel about the role of care-giver and whether simple kindness is enough. In looking after someone profoundly changed after a car accident, Ella confronts her own prejudices and discovers more about herself. An impressive and affecting debut, this book had me reflecting on compassion, gender roles, and what it means to love.' - Claire Fuller
Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Publication Date: 5 March 2020