The High House By Jessie Greengrass
‘The High House’ is the latest book by Jessie Greengrass.
Perched on a hill above a village by the sea, the high house has a mill, a vegetable garden and a barn full of supplies.Caro and her younger half-brother, Pauly, arrive there one day to find it cared for by Grandy and his granddaughter, Sally. Not quite a family, they learn to live together, and care for one another. But there are limits even to what the ailing Grandy knows about how to survive, and, if the storm comes, it might not be enough.
When I initially started this book, I found it a bit hard to get into due to the multiple narratives and found the female characters to be quite similar in personality traits. But, as the story progressed, I found myself intrigued by the book.
The story is seen through the narrative of Caro and Sally. Caro and her little brother Pauly have been sent to live with their grandfather and his grand daughter Sally, whilst their mother Francesca is frantically trying to get more awareness of climate change, as torrential storms batter the towns. They live in a high house, away from the floods and in their own little world packed with necessities for their survival.
The book is essentially a war cry about the state of the world and if we don’t do something about it soon then it will be too late. It’s also a deep exploitation into dysfunctional families and how dynamics can clash when under pressure.
The characters are an interesting bunch of people and although the story is primarily seen through Caro’s and Sally’s narrative, it was the grandfather and Pauly that I warned to most. Pauly had a sweet innocence around him as the world flooded below, whilst the grandfather was the protector of the family.
The book is relatively short and can be consumed in one sitting and has been shortlisted for a Costa award for Best Novel. ‘The High House’ is a sad and powerfully written book about climate change and how our world is spiralling out of control.
You can buy ‘The High House’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.