Ella Spinner stumbles through a single day after the tragedy. Set in Mossel Bay, it explores why – despite the grief, the struggles – there remains an urge to try.
This day is no more significant than the one before, or the one before that. Little progress, if any, seems to be made. Yet, I keep trying, pushing, as if working towards something, even if that something cannot be named.
Loss has left Ella Spinner alone to care for her husband, Bart, who suffers from clinical depression. Their days now echo the tides: any progress made, rolls back. Yet Ella keeps pushing against the monotony. Set in Mossel Bay, Ella’s day begins like any other. But on this day the minutes begin to crack allowing change to filter through. As we cheer on her tenacity, we’re left asking ourselves what motivates anyone to try again.
Tiah Marie Beautement was born and raised in small town Oregon (USA). Her university education was spread between St Mary’s in California and University of Cape Town. After graduation she found herself in the UK, picking up a South African husband, two children and a second citizenship (UK). In 2008 she moved to South Africa with her family, acquiring a dog and a number of chickens. She splits her time between writing and co-running Short Story Day Africa. Her short stories are scattered over the internet and in print. This Day is her second novel.
A searing and sensitive exploration of grief and loss, This Day held me in its thrall in one sitting and will haunt me for a long time. The writing is pitch-perfect, beautifully crafted, and full of acute and witty observations.
“A poignant exploration of the ways we deal with loss.”
“This Day is a bittersweet moment in time that Tiah Beautement has captured superbly. Although the story is slow-moving, it is beautifully rendered and, like water, is reflective and steeped in emotion.”
“A meticulously crafted novel… Poetic, full of insights, and simply beautiful, This Day is an remarkable achievement.”
“Honest and painful and beautifully written.”
“Haunting, elegiac, This Day is a book that worms its way into you as you read. The reading is compulsive, even when your heart is in your mouth and you don’t want to turn the page because you know that the story is going to take you deeper into the sorrow that is Ella Spinner’s life.”
“This Day is a perceptive, intriguing mix of desperation, hope and acerbic wit. It offers no easy remedies but invites the reader to journey with Ella as she tries to overcome her own bitterness and her frustration with her husband, laced with fear that her husband will kill himself. One of the reasons I love reading fiction is to learn and understand the human condition. Despite the sadness of the topic, this novel achieves this and leaves the reader feeling enriched.”
Penny de Vries
“Evocative and insightful.”
– Moira Richards
“A beautifully written book. Clever, witty and deeply touching.”
– Mike Leggatt
“Candid yet sensitive, Beautement draws the reader into the depths of Ella’s despair while never allowing her to seem unrealistically helpless. We see her frustration, fear and fury, and are reminded that no matter the circumstances, we always have choices. This Day is not light, uplifting novel, but I was thoroughly entertained by it throughout. It is tightly written and engaging, and the story lingered long after I’d read the final word.”
– Penny Haw
“Confronts a harsh tragedy unashamedly, with a sense of bold confidence.’
– Garth Langdon, Aerodrome