24 February 2022
Cover design © Luke Bird
Arrival is literary fiction, a story of domestic abuse; the unnamed narrator moves to London from Bulgaria to escape her abusive father, has a child and leaves the child’s father after feeling bullied into a new life with him. Lyrical and moving, it is interspersed with folk tales and flashbacks.
The plot centres on the child’s eye view of her mother being repeatedly assaulted by her father, with the child feeling powerless to prevent the attacks. It examines her sense of shame and guilt, and her anxiety over perpetuating the cycle of abuse/failure. The folk tales lend a universality and timeslessness to the storyline, the mythical samodivi of Bulgaria representing the spirit of women everywhere fighting stereotypical perceptions of gender roles.