Where the sailor ends the artist begins…
London, 1847: On shore leave while his ship is being repaired, sailor Thomas Rutherford is restless, waiting to return to sea. At twenty-eight years old, Tom knows nothing but life on tall ships and is determined to captain his own.
But Tom has a second passion: painting. And so he passes time with his paintbox and sketchbook… until he is struck by the discovery of a delicate glove laced with the unmistakable scent of turpentine. The owner is Catherine Ogilvie – captivating, headstrong and a talented artist in her own right. Intrigued by this singular woman, Tom finds himself swept into Catherine’s privileged yet stifling world.
As Tom and Catherine grow closer, Tom’s eyes are opened to a new way of life. But his ambitions remain and, when the sea calls to Tom, he must face an impossible choice.
In her stunning debut, Susan Paterson explores the power of art to transform a life and to connect us to others. Where Light Meets Water is a multi-stranded novel of love – of a man and a woman, of a sailor and the sea, and of an artist and his gift.
Paterson’s inspiration for this triumphant debut novel came from her own family – her great-great-great grandfather was Master Mariner Captain Thomas Robertson who was also an artist. His maritime oil paintings became an integral part of Paterson’s beautifully told tale, one in which she explores the transformative power of art and its ability to transcend societal limitations and expectations.
This is a novel about the connection between twin flames with a shared love for something greater. It’s about different kinds of love: romantic, familial and vocational. It’s a swoon-worthy read that’s gently and beautifully yet powerfully told. A bit like the sea itself, the relationship between Tom and Catherine moves with the tides, though their love is timeless.
Bestselling juggernaut Pip Williams aptly describes Where Light Meets Water as: ‘A story about equals when equality was impossible. Susan Paterson wields her pen like an artist’s brush and the result is beautiful and evocative.’
You can feel the love in the writing. Paterson’s talent and care shines through the consideration behind each plot point and character choice. Rich in detail, and like a truly great painting, this novel is a work of art that attracts various perceptions on different viewings – or, in this case, readings – yet there’s a universal and timeless appeal. I imagine Captain Thomas Robertson would be terrifically proud of his great-great-great granddaughter’s masterful literary feat.