Book - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"Longlisted for the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize "What Bennett aims at is nothing short of a re-enchantment of the world... This is a truly stunning debut, beautifully written and profoundly witty." -The Guardian Immediately upon its publication in Ireland, Claire-Louise Bennett's debut began to attract attention well beyond the expectations of the tiny Irish press that published it. A deceptively slender volume, it captures with utterly mesmerizing virtuosity the interior reality of its unnamed protagonist, a young woman living a singular and mostly solitary existence on the outskirts of a small coastal village. Sidestepping the usual conventions of narrative, it focuses on the details of her daily experience--from the best way to eat porridge or bananas to an encounter with cows--rendered sometimes in story-length, story-like stretches of narrative, sometimes in fragments no longer than a page, but always suffused with the hypersaturated, almost synesthetic intensity of the physical world that we remember from childhood. The effect is of character refracted and ventriloquized by environment, catching as it bounces her longings, frustrations, and disappointments--the ending of an affair, or the ambivalent beginning with a new lover. As the narrator's persona emerges in all its eccentricity, sometimes painfully and often hilariously, we cannot help but see mirrored there our own fraught desires and limitations, and our own fugitive desire, despite everything, to be known. Shimmering and unusual, Pond demands to be devoured in a single sitting that will linger long after the last page"-- Provided by publisher.
"A tour de force fiction debut, darkly humorous and utterly original, in which the habits and observations of a solitary young woman illuminate her inner life with uncanny, irresistible intimacy"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2016.
Edition: First American edition.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780399575891
Branch Call Number: FIC/BENNETT
Characteristics: 195 pages ; 22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Nov 01, 2017

This book should actually be called "BOG" since the language of "POND" was rather a congealed goo. I found the book pretentious and obfuscating. I'm not sure why this book is rated a novel since it presents itself more as a non-fiction book of tedious and inconsequential musings. The letters I wrote to my wife when I was sitting on firebases in Vietnam in 1970 have more philosophical musings in them than this effort. If you want to have a good read vis-a-vis this genre, try the reliable classic "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek".

Oct 25, 2017

Strange, beautiful, odd, poetic are all words that come to mind when trying to describe this novel. There is no plot, just the musings and observations of the narrator who lives alone in a cottage in Ireland. Give this one a try and you might add this book to your "read more than once" pile.

Alena_T May 24, 2017

Ethereal, witty, and lyrical, every page reveals sentences to savour. One of my favourite poetic novels of all time.

Apr 23, 2017

An interesting take on a journal this slim book has interconnecting stories as told by a woman living in a small town in Ireland. I’m one of the reviewers who found the stories flat. The concept was interesting but the stories failed to hold my attention.

Apr 04, 2017


Dec 07, 2016

This is a strange and compelling read, which I loved. Told entirely in the first-person, this is the story of the inner life - thoughts and feelings - of a young woman living in a cottage in a rural area. We never learn her name and there are no big plot developments. But you feel you know this woman as well as you know your friends or sisters, as she comments on the small and large events in her life and in her immediate surroundings. Beautiful writing and quite hypnotic.

Chapel_Hill_KrystalB Aug 23, 2016

Like a swift current, Pond effortlessly carried me from its first sentence to its last. Much of that had to do with the nontraditional narrative style- almost no dialogue, very stream-of-consciousness with lots of space for the reader to fill in the blanks. I loved the narrator's unusual perspective and enjoyed the book overall. With that being said, it did feel a bit incomplete to me.

Aug 01, 2016

More than vignettes and short stories, it reads like a series of letters, about to be a novel, about a girl living in a cottage, sort of alone, making sense of existence. She's beguiling - indulgent, plushy, spare and full of quiet rapture. Every summer I find a book I'm surprised I love, and this summer, it's Pond.


Add a Quote
Alena_T May 24, 2017

“I only wish you could spend just five minutes beneath my skin and feel what it’s like. Feel the savage swarming magic I feel.”
― Claire-Louise Bennett, Pond


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SDPL

To Top