Review: “Peach” by Emma Glass

Reading this book reminds me of the first time I tried using Braille, and I have no visual impairment: to me, reading the bumps with my fingers made me feel as though there was (naturally) something behind it, a veil that subsumed a world of depth.

This is Emma Glass’s first book, and it doesn’t feel like it. The language reminds me somehow of reading José Saramago, where it kind of unfurls, yet I don’t have to construe it; it’s stream-of-consciousness while not being too obvious, even though this is a moralistic tale.

Language is all, and for a first-time writer, I think it’s very safe to say that writing a book like this is throwing yourself into the unknown even more than otherwise. Here’s a paragraph for ya:

Against the black of my eyelids I see nothing but shadows swimming towards me, swimming away. The slit splits further across my belly. I feel the flesh fall. I fall with it. My legs are eroding. Suddenly I am flushed with fear. I can’t cry, my face is melting. My lips open, my eyes won’t open. The blessing will be that I can’t see the bottom. What have I learned who have I hurt is this it. Nothing but flesh. Was this all for nothing other than the craving of fresh flesh. Senseless flesh. I am nothing but solid stone, alone, sinking, how can I still think when my face is all gone. What will they find at the bottom, will they know I was here because I carved you into my heart and I think this heavy rock, this stone, this seed will still have the shape of you inside, look closely at the cracks, slide into the crevices, you will see. I can’t I can’t I won’t grow in this stagnant pond, this soiled water, this stinking pit, this is it, I can’t I won’t grow, I can’t hold I can’t hold I feel I am close I feel the scratch and scrape the stone on the ceramic tiles the stone the stone the stone on stone, I can’t grow I won’t hold I can’t hold. I can’t grow. I can’t hold any soul. In this pit I will sit. In this pit I will sit. In this. In this. Pit.

Throughout the book, I got the feeling that threat looms in the background, but really it’s in the foreground, due to the nature of Glass’s language, much like seeing waves crashing without sound in the middle of the night: you know it’s there, but it’s not entirely evident. I shan’t spoil any surprises, but there’s more to the book than what I’ve written of here.

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