By Zehra Cranmer
There is no feeling like the one you get when you discover a new writer, not that Cobbold is a new writer, in fact she is the author of a number of books which have done well in their own right, however, if one hasn’t read a Cobbold yet, then Drowning Rose may be the place to start.
Drowning Rose is essentially a mystery, even a thriller if you will, yet it still surpasses these genres as Eliza Cummings; the novel’s protagonist receives a call from the past, one that she has been desperately trying to run away from, but also one that she had been banished from. Eliza who has lived with the guilt of a tragic event for twenty years is forced to face it head on.
Eliza Cummings is a ceramics restorer; she makes it absolutely clear that her job is not to fix things so that they may flourish in their former glory but to prevent any further damage. It is important to understand that Eliza’s aim is not to hide the cracks of destruction that have been inflicted but to “…carry out honest repairs without the intention to deceive.” Eliza’s life has become just that, something that she is desperately trying to keep together, she knows that she can not change the past or rectify the damage, but everything must be pieced together in order to simply function. Whilst her life crumbles uncontrollably around her, Cobbold creates a powerful juxtaposition with the carefully controlled world of Eliza’s work; this is constantly playing on the reader’s mind.
What is wonderful about this intensely dark novel is Cobbold’s poetic description of the snow; the cold and later the warmth of the sun; she is a writer who is able to conjure an image so clearly on the page that it is seamlessly transmitted to the reader’s mind. Drowning Rose is a well crafted, chilling and addictive novel which leaves a trace once you’ve read it. What one wants from a novel is to be transported to another plain and once that book is closed and set down the best part takes place, the part where you’re left with its spirit or essence. With this novel, the reader won’t be left with the sense what’s next but one of what more can I read written by Cobbold, this is what makes a writer and their work successful.