#Blogtour Watermarks: Life, Death and Swimming by Lenka Janiurek @LenkaJ12 @AllisonandBusby @EmmaFinnigan @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #Watermarks

Watermarks by Lenka Janiurek
Allison and Busby May 21st 2020

Lenka Janiurek’s story really begins with the death of her mother when she was nine. She is the daughter of a Polish immigrant father, and one of eight children. Across the years she is plagued by the rage, addiction and despair of the controlling men she is closest to. This memoir grapples with identity, of trying to find a place in a world and within a family, that don’t feel like your own.

This remarkable story from the 1960s to the present day, describes the loss of her mother to her relationships with 2 stepmothers, early success as a playwright, extensive travel, and encounters with both extreme wealth and poverty. Throughout Lenka explores and celebrates the beauty and tragedy of living life to the full.

Watermarks is a stunning evocation of alienation, searching, and the restorative power of nature.  

My Review

You couldn’t help but feel that Watermarks was a novel, it’s characters not real but imagined, Lenka’s life experiences so varied and diverse.

The daughter of a Polish immigrant Father, an English mother, her early family life didn’t seem out of the ordinary. It was a large noisy family, until the death of her mother. The introduction of a Stepmother, a father who didn’t express emotion, a lack of love and nurturing left you in no doubt that it had a profound effect on the rest of Lenka’s life. I felt that it gave her a resilience, a determination, as she searched for meaning and indeed what her purpose and place was.

Her numerous relationships with the men she met never seemed to be successful yet they gave her her children whom she gave all the love and nurture she appeared to have missed.

Her life and that of her children was never conventional. There were spasmodic periods of normality in Bradford, the children in school, but it never appeared to satisfy Lenka. You could sense the city was not her place, too far removed from nature, from a way of life that offered simplicity, and peace. In a way nature didn’t talk back, it challenged but in a way that Lenka felt more at ease, more at home. I loved how she described the way in which water seemed to soothe and cleanse, allowed her to remove herself from life.

Her travels in India were fascinating, again a search for something, often out of reach but you had to admire Lenka’s tenacity, her unwillingness to give up.

It was the way in which Lenka described the peaks and troughs of her experiences that impressed, there was never any self pity, she never asked you to feel sorry for her, instead she would pick herself up, and move on.

I got the distinct feeling that Lenka has maybe now found some of what she was looking for, that maybe the memoir was cathartic, a release for the emotion of a rich and varied life that is still ongoing not yet concluded.

Watermarks was not your run of the mill memoir, no ghost writer in evidence just a skilled author who exercised her proven narrative ability, who successfully turned it round to examine and tell her own life story. I wish Lenka success, peace and happiness as she embarks on the next chapter of her life.

I would like to thank Allison and Busby for a copy of Watermarks to read and review and to Damp Pebbles blogtours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

LENKA JANIUREK was born in York. At the age of 17 she won the prestigious Young Writer’s Competition at the Royal Court Theatre and subsequently had three plays on at the Royal Court Theatre, a platform play at the National Theatre, and one at the Other Place with the RSC in Stratford-on-Avon. She has facilitated workshops in writing, drama, art, and well-being, in schools, colleges, at camps, and in a women’s prison. And worked as a baker, fundraiser, caretaker, green builder and researcher. She has four children. She lives close to the sea in Wales.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LenkaJ12

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Watermarks-Death-Swimming-Lenka-Janiurek-ebook/dp/B07YVQJ74K/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1588939919&sr=8-7

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/watermarks/lenka-janiurek/9780749025953

Foyles: https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biography/watermarks-life-death-and-swimming,lenka-janiurek-9780749025953

Hive.co.uk: https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Lenka-Janiurek/Watermarks–Life-Death-and-Swimming/24757566

One thought on “#Blogtour Watermarks: Life, Death and Swimming by Lenka Janiurek @LenkaJ12 @AllisonandBusby @EmmaFinnigan @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #Watermarks”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: