Winter Under Water by James Hopkin

Winter Under Water

James Hopkin

This is a tale of two love stories: one between English Joseph who follows married mum Marta to her native Poland to continue their affair, the second between a man and a country which explores what it means to belong. I found the first rather melancholic and slow-moving, but the second is suffused with poetic, elegant language which creates a real sense of place (pre-EU midwinter Krakow) and a true understanding of loneliness.


And it dawns on him how much his life changed: from travelling about in his own country, in his car, on his own, to living in the centre of a city in a strange country, entirely dependent on his two hands and feet, his tongue, his talents, and where you have to have faith in people ... if only because of their number and proximity and because you understand only one in five of the words that they don't so much speak as rush out of their mouths.

  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  • Poland by James Michener

Books with similar mood

The Forms of Water

Andrea Barrett


Tom Lee

Eva Moves the Furniture

Margot Livesey

Ancient Promises

Jaishree Misra

Some Prefer Nettles

Junichiro Tanizaki


Paco Roca

The Cookbook Collector

Allegra Goodman

End of Miss Kind

Donald Rawley

The Book of Israel

Jeremy Gavron

In the Falling Snow

Caryl Phillips

Last Fling

Sue Gee

The Testament of Jessie Lamb

Jane Rogers

Inside the Whale

Jennie Rooney


Jemma Kennedy

Grand Ambition

Lisa Michaels

This Is Not a Novel

Jennifer Johnston

Family Matters

Rohinton Mistry

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Tracy Chevalier

Errors of the Spirit


Field Study

Rachel Seiffert

Five Star Billionaire

Tash Aw


Laura Beatty

Deaf Sentence

David Lodge

The Amateur Marriage

Anne Tyler

Big Fish: a Novel of Mythic Proportions

Daniel Wallace


Matthew Francis

Alpha Male

William Brandt

The Island

R J Price

The Kindness

Polly Samson


Louise Stern

The Bride from Odessa

Edgardo Cozarinsky

The Promise of Happiness

Justin Cartwright

The Main Cages

Philip Marsden

The Secret History Of Modernism

C K Stead

The Simultaneous Dress

Linda France

The Old Man Who Read Love Stories

Luis Sepulveda

Across the Lakes

Amal Chatterjee

James Miranda Barry

Patricia Duncker

Basket of Deplorables

Tom Rachman

Let Me Tell You About a Man I Knew

Susan Fletcher


Judith Hermann

Almost English

Charlotte Mendelson

Aphrodite's Hat

Salley Vickers

Sweets from Morocco

Jo Verity

Mother's Milk

Edward St Aubyn

Something Rising (light and swift)

Haven Kimmel


Frank Ronan


Andrew Miller

After Rain

William Trevor