Cove by Cynan Jones

Cove by Cynan Jones (

I first heard about Cove from Karen who blogs at Booker Talk. It’s a story about a kayaker who gets hit by lightening.

One of my favorite things to do meets one of my biggest fears. I couldn’t resist.

I was gripped from page one by this slip of a book. A sudden storm sneaks up on the kayaker and he has no memory when he awakens floating in the water tethered to his kayak. The story that follows is of his slow awakening and struggle to get to shore — his paddle was lost in the lightening strike — and his growing sense of a vague regret as his memories begin to return.

Jones’s writing is sprinkled with images that made me stop and ponder, such as this one:

He trapped it [a feather] with his thumb. Held it carefully. His memory like a dropped pack of cards (35).

Cynan Jones - Granta Magazine (
Cynan Jones (source)

I’ll keep this post short, like Cove, and end with a quote from the book that I think is good advice for life in general:

You cannot get angry that your effort is not moving you faster. It will not make sense, in a flurry of anger or hope or ambition or anything that is not to do with rhythm, to try to race, because you will not be able to keep it up. You will get tired and distraught and you will give up. Keep rhythm. It is all about rhythm (75).

One thing is for sure — after reading this story, I’m getting a leash for my paddle.

Cynan Jones is from Wales. Cove is his fifth book, so I’m looking forward to more good reading.

Title: Cove
Author: Cynan Jones
Publisher: Granta Books 2015
Source: Bought it
Bottom line: An exciting read and beautifully written story for those who enjoy tales of struggle and survival. Outdoor enthusiasts, particularly paddlers, are sure to appreciate this book.


  1. Delighted to hear yiu enjoyed this Chris. I haven’t written my review yet but I was also engrossed from page 1. The writing style was mesmerising at times.

  2. This sounds terrifying! It sounds like you at least have something practical you can do to be safer kayaking because of reading it though, which is nice 🙂

What do you think? Leave a comment and let's talk!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.