Genre: Literary Fiction, Magic Realism
Narrative Style: Third Person from different perspectives, non-chronological
Synopsis: Tee is living in Prague when the floods come. He is trying to find a new identity for himself and a new home. When he is asked to model for artist, Pavel, his life begins to change. Little does he realise exactly how much of his identity will be washed away when the floods come and he finds himself back in America.
It has to be said that Prague is the perfect setting for a story that is full of magic and legends. The city is beautiful and has an air of wonder about it that I have never experienced in any other city. Salasses certainly does justice to the setting with this tale of love, identity and wonder. The city is almost like another character, adding its own personal touch to the story.
The action shifts between Tee in America in hospital with no memory and his life in Prague after he meets Pavel, the artist and his beautiful wife, Katka. Tee immediately falls in love with the older woman and soon they are having an affair. Katka seems almost magical herself, spinning stories of her childhood and of the legends of the city.
As they only meet when it is raining, it makes sense that when she finally leaves Pavel, it should be at the start of the flood. However, when the pair ignore the warnings about evacuating, things start to take a darker tone.
This was one of those books where I wanted to start it over again immediately so I could try and recapture some of the magic and wonder that was destroyed by the horror of the ending. I could not put this down and felt bereft at the end, a sign of how powerful the characters and the story were. An excellent debut.