Metro News

17 October 2017

Nice shout out here from Metro News Canada.

The Last Wave, Gillian Best (26 July 2017)

It’s no surprise that Canadian-British author Gillian Best, a self-declared seaside enthusiast and lifelong swimmer, has set her assured debut novel near water. The epic family tale, which takes place in Dover, England, follows more than 60 years in the life of Martha, a tough-minded woman who goes on to swim the English Channel 10 times. The ocean is an escape for Martha; the real drama takes place as she navigates relationships with her family. Due out at the end of August, Best’s novel also heralds the last wave of summer beach days.

Girth Radio interview

05 October 2017

I had the absolute pleasure of chatting with Alissa Santiago at Girth Radio when I was back in Toronto in August. We talked about all sorts: swimming, writing, The Last Wave, and I got some great tips on places to buy bras (always handy!). 

Have a listen here.

Dundee Literary Festival | 18 - 22 October 2017

14 September 2017

If you find yourself up in Dundee, and at loose ends on Saturday 21 October, come along to First Writes. I'll be there along with the extremely talented debut novelists Helen McClory and Ever Dundas. 

Official blurb below:

Join us for readings and chat from these three fantastic new voices.

In Flesh of the Peach, Scottish First Book of the Year winner Helen McClory paints a beautiful and painful portrait of a woman’s unravelling, combining exquisite, and at times experimental, prose with a powerful understanding of the effects of unresolved loss.

The Last Wave by Gillian Best is a wholly authentic, tragicomic portrait of family life as it is buffeted by sickness, intolerance, anger, failure and regret, soaked in empathy and salt water.

Ian McEwan’s Atonement meets Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth in Ever Dundas’s extraordinary debut Goblin, an utterly beguiling historical tale with an unforgettable female protagonist at its centre.

When: Saturday 21st October, 10am
Where: Bonar Hall
Tickets: £3, concession £2


Review | This Mom Reads

09 September 2017

I woke up this morning to find this lovely review of The Last Wave on This Mom Reads

"This was a really emotional read. I found myself tearing up more than once. Martha’s character is far from perfect and I may not have agreed with every decision she made, but I think that is why she resonated with me. She is a woman guided by her passion for swimming and the sea and it takes precedence over everything in her life, including her family.

I highly recommend checking out The Last Wave if you are a fan of character driven novels or looking for a thoughtful read."

Swim Lit

03 September 2017

I spoke with the fabulous Lindsay Zier-Vogel about The Last Wave and all things swimming, and was floored when she asked me how Martha was - it's amazing to find that the characters I've created are real to other people too!

"In Best's debut novel, The Last Wave, Martha, a devoted ocean swimmer who wears the second skin of her bathing suit tan for most of her life, never once steps foot in a pool. “The sea is alive, expansive; a pool is dead and confining. The sea is freedom. There is nothing in a pool: no current, no tide, no waves, and most of all, no history,” Best writes. 

In the book, Martha swims to escape just about everything—the drudgery of motherhood, the mind numbingly boring tasks of being a housewife and is so well crafted, when I spoke to Best this week, I had to keep myself from asking how Martha was doing. 

Best laughed. “She’s like an imaginary friend to me, too,” she says. “She’s good, she’s doing well.”

Local Girl Made Good

03 September 2017

What a lovely article in the local KW Record!

And even better was that my old swim coach and creative writing teacher (herself a long distance swimmer) saw it, learned about the book launch we held at Words Worth Books and came along! It was such a wonderful reunion. And so lovely to hear her report on it - I think I'll always feel like a schoolgirl around my former teachers, but I'm happy to say, she loved it!





Review | Winnipeg Free Press

03 September 2017

So I'm still new to all of this and it thrills me to no end that people are not only kind enough to read my book, but then also to go to the extra effort and write about it

"A Canadian author now living in Bristol, England, Gillian Best makes a literary splash with her debut novel, The Last Wave.

Throughout the book, Best demonstrates her ability to accurately portray the emotional layers that exist within the Roberts family. John and Martha are extremely reluctant to express their true feelings and pass this emotional handicap on to their children Iain and Harriet (Harry). Their emotional suppression causes many misunderstandings and much unnecessary distress, and the reader is tempted to step in to help sort out the characters’ true feelings because they are unable to properly explain themselves."

WOW - One of 17 Writers to Watch in 2017

11 August 2017

According to CBC Books. I can't believe the fantastic company I'm keeping on this list, and am making a trip to my local bookshop ASAP to grab some of these before I'm away back to the UK.

My summer holiday has been quite action-packed as far as book-related things go. I dropped by House of Anansi yesterday, and saw my book The Last Wave right there in their shop window when I arrived. This is seriously the best feeling ever. Signed a few books for them, and then spoke with swimmer and blogger extraordinaire Lindsay Zier-Vogel, I'll post a link to that interview on her blog once it's up. 

Have also spoken to a couple of other amazing folk, and will post those interviews as and when. Meantime, for a little video interview, please do check out Naomi Frisby's YouTube channel, and her review of my book on her blog The Writes Of Woman


Interviews, swim-terviews, and books on swimming

06 July 2017

There have been quite a few things going on in the press of late around The Last Wave, I'm pleased to report. All of them around swimming, too, which seems fitting given it's July!

Yesterday, the Guardian published my Top Ten Books on Swimming. Check it out if you're looking for your next great swimming read. "Swimming and reading have a lot in common: both are solitary pursuits, escapes into different worlds and different kinds of freedom. Some of the swimmers below are chasing bodily liberation in the water; others want to escape their dry-land lives or to recover lost memories."

I was interviewed for the Outdoor Swimming Society about my book and how swimming and writing related to one another in my life. Actually, it wasn't quite an interview - it was a swim-terview, which was brilliant. Ella Foote and I met at the Oasis pool in central London to have a chat and a swim. 

And finally, I was interviewed by Bristol 24/7 about the themes that are brought up in The Last Wave: dementia and cancer, as well as swimming, writing, and life in Bristol. Here's a little taste: Swimming is thinking time for me. With my cap, goggles and ear plugs, it gives me a chance to work out whatever’s on my mind. There’s a rhythm to swimming that I find really helpful if I get stuck in my writing. The rhythm of breathing and counting strokes puts you in an almost trance-like frame of mind.