The Pools

Middle England, mid-1980s. The kind of place where nothing ever happens. Except something has happened. A fifteen-year-old boy called Robert has been killed, down by the pools. And half a dozen lives will come unravelled. There’s Kathryn and Howard, Rob’s parents. Kath has been making the best of her second marriage after the love of her life died young. Howard has been clinging onto a family life he hardly expected to have. There’s Joanna, the teen queen of nowheresville. She’s been looking for a way out, escape from her parents’ broken marriage. She thought Rob might take her away from all this, but lately she?s started to think Rob might have other plans. And then there’s Shane, with the big hands and the fixation on Joanna. Bethan Roberts’ strikingly assured debut novel subtly reveals the tensions and terrors that underpin apparently ordinary lives, and can lead them to spiral suddenly out of control.

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Praise for The Pools

"Bethan Roberts is a fearless writer…compelling"

Louise Welsh

"An unsettling and disturbing tale of awakening sexuality and predatory parents"

Patricia Duncker

"A cool and relevant novel…expertly crafted"

Sunday Express

"A sense of controlled menace broods over every scene"

Catherine Taylor, Guardian

"Brilliantly illuminating…a beautifully understated debut"

Viv Groskop, Easy Living

"Haunting"

Time Out