Arthur Braxton runs away from school. He hides out in an abandoned building, an Edwardian public baths. He finds a naked woman swimming in the pool.
From this point on, nothing will ever be the same.
The Drowning of Arthur Braxton is an unflinching account of the pain and trauma of adolescence, of how first love can transform the most unhappy of lives into something miraculous. It is a dark and brooding modern fairy tale from one of our most gifted writers.
‘Magical, weird, wonderful, dark unique Northern brilliance.’ Matt Haig (The Radleys, The Humans)
'...there was so much about this book to love; the decrepit seaside setting, the terrible weather (the way the storms and rain inhabit both the background and foreground of the novel), the gritty realism, the magic, the freshness, the strangeness, and the way the story and the characters haunted me afterwards. I felt safe throughout this novel - I knew I was in good hands; with each change of voice and structure I remained confident in Smailes' ability to lead things to a satisfying conclusion. And that's exactly what she did.' Carys Bray (A Song for Issy Bradley)
‘This thoroughly modern retelling is everything a fairy tale should be: strange, beautiful and wholly unexpected.’ Tanya Byrne (Heart-Shape Bruise)
‘This beautifully told and sometimes disturbing tale will intrigue as it reaches its dramatic conclusion’. Bella magazine.
‘… I’d recommend you request The Drowning of Arthur Braxton by Caroline Smailes, one of the most unusual and talented writers around (for more info, visit her website). This is a reimagining of three Greek myths and a compelling and harrowing modern fairy tale.’ Stuart Evers on NetGalley
‘A quirky magical tale of wit, water and destiny. Caroline Smailes always writes with flair and empathy – this time she explores the power of our need to belong.’Sarah Salway (Canterbury Laureate, author of Something Beginning With)
‘A dark but enchanting tale of the redemptive power of love.’ Tom Vowler (What Lies Within)
‘You know how some stories are properly fucking amazing? This one has fixed something inside me that was a bit broken before.‘ BookCunt