Ormeshadow

Ormeshadow

Acclaimed author Priya Sharma transports readers back in time with Ormeshadow, a coming-of-age story as dark and rich as good soil.Burning with resentment and intrigue, this fantastical family drama invites readers to dig up the secrets of the Belman family, and wonder whether myths and legends are real enough to answer for a history of sin.Uprooted from Bath...

DownloadRead Online
Title:Ormeshadow
Author:Priya Sharma
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Ormeshadow Reviews

  • Ross Jeffery

    Well, here at STORGY we’ve been following the career of Priya Sharma with great attention and her collection All The Fabulous Beasts was a highlight of our recent reading – which let us just add went on to win the Shirley Jackson Award for singled-authored collection in 2018. So, when we heard that she’d upped the ante and gone and written a novella, we had to get ourselves a copy to review for you fine folks here.

    Ormeshadow is quite different from All The Fabulous Beasts, and I ment

    Well, here at STORGY we’ve been following the career of Priya Sharma with great attention and her collection All The Fabulous Beasts was a highlight of our recent reading – which let us just add went on to win the Shirley Jackson Award for singled-authored collection in 2018. So, when we heard that she’d upped the ante and gone and written a novella, we had to get ourselves a copy to review for you fine folks here.

    Ormeshadow is quite different from All The Fabulous Beasts, and I mention this because it is different in the best of ways, Sharma appears to flourish with the shackles off and writing free from what is required from a genre book per se. Unshackling her creative juices seems to have had a freeing quality, enabling Sharma to concoct a broiling coming of age tale which loosely but integrally incorporates the myths and legends of dragons – but with a masters touch she subtly lays the lore into the foundations of Ormeshadow which create a beast of a book.

    So, if you’re a fan of all things dark and mysterious please take note, this is a writer who is doing something a little different, incorporating a dark undertow to the story which is as deadly as anything that lurks in the dark; and boy does she hit the nail on the head, so much so, that she actually drives that nail and the hammer through the wood until she leaves a splintered wreckage on the floor.

    Ormeshadow follows the life of Gideon Belman, a boy who finds himself uprooted from his life in Bath and relocated to Ormeshadow Farm with his mother and father – to join his uncle and auntie and their dysfunctional and overbearing family unit. Gideon doesn’t know what’s happened or why they’ve had to flee, and his learned father keeps hidden the secrets of their escape by regaling his son of the legend of the Orme – of a buried dragon that lays beneath the Orme, encased rock and moss, sleeping or waiting for its time to rise. The dragon waits and dreams of resentment, of revenge and of death. Gideon finds himself in a strange place, a place he doesn’t quite fit, growing up in a house that hates him. So, Gideon finds his comforts and a way to survive, in the Orme and the folklore that enraptures his very heart.

    ‘There were butterflies skewered in cases, beautiful things the size of a man’s hand, their iridescent wings marked with blind eyes for protection. Gideon had wanted to know why they were so dangerous that, even in death, they had to be contained. His father had laughed.’

    Sharma’s prose in Ormeshadow is deep and rich, and at times, all consuming. It’s as if Sharma has created a storm on the page, contained it with words, sentences and paragraphs – you want to pull yourself away but it’s intoxicatingly, you are at her mercy and she doesn’t relent. Her prose is so strong and enrapturing that it’s like being tossed by an angry sea; it will consume you, bury you in a world that there is no escape from – detailing expertly of a time, place and lives that are so delicately examined and nurtured that it is beguiling. Sharma’s writing in Ormeshadow is so precious that you can’t look away for fear of missing the majesty of her work.

    ‘The fishermen were accustomed to death, it being one of their many bounties from the sea. Death was even in their swollen jumpers, each knitted to their own designs so their widows could identify their remains after a pounding by the waves.’

    What makes this book so brilliant is Sharma’s characterisations, every person in this story serves a purpose, there is no room for driftwood. Each character, no matter how small their part, adds to the broiling drama that unfolds on the page, pulling the reader in, forcing us to discover, and dredge up the secrets of the Belman family. Secrets that Sharma delicately weaves throughout Ormeshadow – as if she were a seamstress working on a precious garment, each thread meticulously planned and executed, to give the story beats when it needs them and to stay silent when their is need for reflection, making it the most enchanting of reads. But as we all know… some secrets should remain secrets.

    ‘He seemed at great pains to be still, but his eyes were churning pools. Gideon expected him to spring up at any second.’

    Sharma has created what I can only imagine will be one of the books of the year, it’s a tale that delves into folklore but is grounded in drama, of family circumstance, of loss and love and hope. It is in essence a coming of age tale, masterfully told with a beguiling style and execution that is is priceless. It will bring Sharma to a whole new audience, whilst still enrapturing her existing followers – but Ormeshadow in my opinion showcases a writer at their very best, and I firmly believe that it is Sharma’s magnum opus.

    An enchanting magic lives in the pages of Ormeshadow and I urge you to discover this treasure of a book for yourselves – a resonant novella that is unforgettably brilliant and deeply moving.

  • Lou
  • unknown

    What a lovely, sad, wonderful book.

  • Kend

    Happy book birthday to this lovely little dark novella!

    I had to do a little digging around for clarification about whether this was or was not a debut, and long and the short of it is, this is Priya Sharma's debut

    novella, although it's certainly not her first book (her collection of short stories,

    has received wide acclaim, as well as individual short pieces collected here and there by Ellen Datlow and others). To put it simply, Sharma's is a name you might have

    Happy book birthday to this lovely little dark novella!

    I had to do a little digging around for clarification about whether this was or was not a debut, and long and the short of it is, this is Priya Sharma's debut

    novella, although it's certainly not her first book (her collection of short stories,

    has received wide acclaim, as well as individual short pieces collected here and there by Ellen Datlow and others). To put it simply, Sharma's is a name you might have heard rather frequently in the science fiction and fantasy community, and this standalone may indicate that a beloved short story author is now moving into longer works. I think we can expect to see Sharma's name continue to rise in recognition and awareness from here on out, because

    is quite the book!

    Short but potent, this novella tracks the coming of age of Gideon, a city boy from Bath in the time of carriages and marriage scandals who relocates with his parents to the coastal farm on which his father grew up and his uncle's family still resides. After a brief idyllic spell in which Gideon and his father bond over wanderings through the local countryside and stories of fallen dragons, things go sideways, and quickly. Gideon's mother, a self-absorbed beauty, is hungry for something that Gideon's gentle father can't give, and Gideon's uncle, a harsh taskmaster, has raised his family in fear and sullen silences. Gideon survives the mundane cruelties and sorrows of home life by turning to the stories--and the land itself--in which he finds peace, and a little magic.

    At its core,

    is a tale of domestic horror. It's also one I think we need very much right now, in a day and age when our treatment of other people often seems to reflect the worst we have to offer, because this is a book which ultimately plants a kernel of hope. Maybe we

    be kind to one another. Maybe something good

    ultimately happen. Maybe we'll find a little magic, or maybe we'll just find that one person who will stand beside us in hard times. Maybe there

    , after all, sunlight after the smoke clears.

  • Aaron

    I preordered this novella after enjoying the author’s previous short fiction. Ormeshadow is somewhat different in (genre?) from many of those but in an equally wonderful way.

    There are so many reasons to like this book, to love this book, and above all, to buy this book.

    Ormeshadow could be called ’fantasy’ but I would call it a “story” in its fullest sense. This is the kind of story you imagine you’d find in a history before rigorous fact-checking robbed humanity of its be

    I preordered this novella after enjoying the author’s previous short fiction. Ormeshadow is somewhat different in (genre?) from many of those but in an equally wonderful way.

    There are so many reasons to like this book, to love this book, and above all, to buy this book.

    Ormeshadow could be called ’fantasy’ but I would call it a “story” in its fullest sense. This is the kind of story you imagine you’d find in a history before rigorous fact-checking robbed humanity of its best lies. This is the kind of book you put on the shelf between Plutarch and Mervyn Peake because it fits there. It is a story that gives signals that it takes place in a real location but silently implies that that location is somewhere before the first page and after the last. It flirts with the fantastic almost as palate cleanser between the tale of a dysfunctional family told so well and real that I felt real anger.

    If I called Ormeshadow a myth, I think I would be right because, among other reasons, it is true as myths are true, true as in meaning, not as in ‘fact’. You read the story and you forget that a person wrote this thing. If it had grown out of the ground and dropped from a tree that produced only the pages of beautiful stories well-told and memorable, you would not be surprised. It is the kind of story that, once released into the wild, lives in the back of your dreams.

    Read this book.

  • Tammy

    I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    A short but powerful tale of the dark emotional lives of a family,

    is an exceptional novella with the promise of magic just around the corner.

    I had no idea what to expect when I started

    , but I have to say this was a surprise of the best kind. Priya Sharma has written a dark and dangerous family drama with just a touch of fantasy. Threview.The

    I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    A short but powerful tale of the dark emotional lives of a family,

    is an exceptional novella with the promise of magic just around the corner.

    I had no idea what to expect when I started

    , but I have to say this was a surprise of the best kind. Priya Sharma has written a dark and dangerous family drama with just a touch of fantasy. The story is set in an unidentified time period (think

    ) that feels like the early 1800s, perhaps, and takes place in a small English village called Ormeshadow.

    Young Gideon Belman and his family have left their comfortable life in Bath and are headed to Ormesleep Farm to live with Gideon’s uncle Thomas and his family. Gideon isn’t told the reason for the move, but it has something to do with his father’s job at the university. John Belman is eager to help Thomas on his sheep farm, but Gideon and his mother Clare are bitter about having to leave their home to live with strangers. When they arrive, they are greeted warmly by Thomas’ wife Maud, but Thomas turns out to be a hard and unfriendly man whose violent nature seethes just below the surface.

    Gideon and his parents slowly adapt to the harsh farm life, and Gideon’s only joyful moments are the times when his father takes him out to the Orme, the large outcropping of rocks that overlooks the bay, and tells him stories about the sleeping dragon who lives in the earth. According to John, the Orme is actually a dragon who, hundreds of years ago, flew down into the waters of the bay to cool off and fell asleep. She turned to rock, and trees and brush grew around her. John tells Gideon that it’s their responsibility to watch over the Orme until she awakens. Gideon doesn’t necessarily believe the stories, but he loves spending time with his father, away from the grim realities of the farm.

    But one day, tragedy strikes, and Gideon’s life will never be the same again. His only hope for happiness is to search for the truth in his father's stories, and to discover once and for all if the Orme is real.

    If you are intrigued by stories that excel in character development and “slice of life” vignettes, then you’ll love

    . The format is a bit unusual. It’s divided up into short, titled chapters that are almost individual stories themselves, yet each is seamlessly woven together to form a whole. Sharma focuses on big and small moments that happen on the farm between family members, and even though some of these moments seemed insignificant at the time, I found each to be profoundly important by the end of the book.

    Sharma’s tale is a claustrophobic one, full of darkness punctuated only by candlelight at night and a cold sun during the day. Ormeshadow sits near the cliffs, and harsh winds, muddy fields and uneven, rocky ground lie in wait to make the characters’ lives miserable. Even worse is the anger and jealousy that simmers between the characters, ready to explode at any moment. These emotions were palpable, and I loved reading a story where the thing that made me keep turning pages wasn’t exciting action, but the terror of seeing just what these characters were capable of. There’s an unsettling feeling of isolation and being trapped, and I felt for Gideon and his mother, who have no way out of their situation.

    As for the characters, I loved the relationship between John and Gideon the most. John hasn’t been dealt the best hand in life, but he loves his family and he’ll do anything to make the best of a bad situation. He’s a born storyteller, and I adored the moments where he weaves his magical tales, passing down stories that his father told him. But his kindness is almost negated by his brother Thomas, a horrible man who demands obedience from both his farm dogs and his family. He encourages fist fighting between his own sons and Gideon, and all the boys end up bloody at one time or another. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to kill a character more than I wanted to kill Thomas! 

    The fantasy element I mentioned is subtle, and honestly, I’m still not sure I understand what happened at the end of the story. But Sharma’s gorgeous writing seduced me and made me desperate to believe that the implied magic was real. In any case, I loved the way everything comes full circle at the end—and when you read

    you’ll understand what I mean. This is a powerful story told by a master storyteller, and I cannot wait to see what Priya Sharma writes next.

  • Megan

    HELLO, THIS BOOK WAS GORGEOUS AND BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN AND DARK AND ACHY AND IT WAS NOT FOR ME.

    This book is for people who liked Wuthering Heights--who love books about horrible people brooding on moors and everything being awful. But in a beautiful way. I love dark and achy, but bleak isn't my thing, and

    has bleak down to an art.

    The prose is absolutely gorgeous, graceful and flowing from one chapter--vignette?--to the next with a lyrical darkness I've rarely experienced outside of books writt

    HELLO, THIS BOOK WAS GORGEOUS AND BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN AND DARK AND ACHY AND IT WAS NOT FOR ME.

    This book is for people who liked Wuthering Heights--who love books about horrible people brooding on moors and everything being awful. But in a beautiful way. I love dark and achy, but bleak isn't my thing, and

    has bleak down to an art.

    The prose is absolutely gorgeous, graceful and flowing from one chapter--vignette?--to the next with a lyrical darkness I've rarely experienced outside of books written in the 1800s. The slow, delicious reveal of characters and their true natures, the peeling back of layers until you see the rot beneath the floorboards is so well done. The mist and atmosphere, the haunting legacy of this family, their village, and their drama absolutely permeate the soul, and this book eats at the mind to make you

    about these characters and why they are the way they are.

    It's small and dark and unhappy, atmospheric and aching, and though family drama isn't my thing and the Wuthering Heights vibe was real, I...didn't hate this book? I really didn't. Which is shocking, to be honest.

  • Miriam

    Oh

    .

    I thought we were past this, as a literary nation. I thought that we had (mostly) put the old sexist tropes to bed and moved on to better things. Apparently not.

    is about a nice and long-suffering boy who must put up with his mother, who is a slut who enjoys sex and wears pretty dresses even though she knows it attracts the attention of other men.

    Yes, really. That’s the plot of this garbage book.

    I read a lot of books. Some are good, some are bad. I’m/>

    Oh

    .

    I thought we were past this, as a literary nation. I thought that we had (mostly) put the old sexist tropes to bed and moved on to better things. Apparently not.

    is about a nice and long-suffering boy who must put up with his mother, who is a slut who enjoys sex and wears pretty dresses even though she knows it attracts the attention of other men.

    Yes, really. That’s the plot of this garbage book.

    I read a lot of books. Some are good, some are bad. I’m not usually offended by the bad books, though. Bad writing happens. But

    offended the hell out of me, because this book is full of

    .

    This is an unpleasant and dangerous book. Fuck that shit.

  • karen

    WAAAAAAAAAAANT

    THIS.

  • Thomas Mcphee

    Woof this is one he'll of an intense story. Excellent, but thick, worth a lot of thought and intense investment.

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.