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Dark, Salt, Clear: Life in a Cornish Fishing Town

by Lamorna Ash

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Lamorna Ash is named for a town in Cornwall, and her childhood is replete with memories of visiting the area during the summer holidays. As an adult, she decides to return to Cornwall to see how it has changed. From her home base in Newlyn, she spends weeks at a time on various fishing vessels, learning first-hand the challenges and joys of working in a field with such long tradition, and seeing how the 20th and 21st centuries have left and continue to leave their mark on these communities.

I really enjoyed this memoir. The descriptions of life on board were well realized, with drama and humour and a certain amount of grossness (fish guts are pretty icky). Ash learns a lot about herself as she undertakes this journey, and about what it takes to survive at the end of the Cornish peninsula.

I would recommend this if you’re attracted to Cornwall and want to read about a way of life that is hanging on in spite of the tourists and the gentrification, if you have family from that part of the world, or if you like to read about life on the sea. I would perhaps not recommend it if you’re vegan, because there is a fair bit of talk about cutting up fish.

This book contains a reading list at the end, in which Ash lists all of the books she quotes from or mentions having read in each chapter. This has naturally added more books to my TBR! ( )
  rabbitprincess | Feb 7, 2021 |
This didn't work for me. I had a lot of problems with both the author and her writing.

> ‘Turn the boat around!’ ‘What?’ yells Don, swivelling his torso around on his skipper’s chair and elongating the a so that the word goes on for many seconds. ‘There are no lollies! You forgot to get the lollies, you bastard!’ Andrew cries with a cackle.

> Around half the fish I saw caught on the Crystal Sea had to be thrown back into the sea, although they were dead, because of quota restrictions ( )
  breic | Feb 4, 2021 |
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