Wow, I never thought I'd give 4 stars to a book which I'm not sure I actually understood! Then again, I don't think there is only one interpretation of it, and one reader here has suggested that this might be the meaning of the title (there are probably as many interpretations as there are readers). This is a short novel, a novella really, but it took me five days to finish it. The narrative switches between the point of view of two of the characters, Timothy and Ethan. Timothy is a Londoner who on impulse buys an abandoned house in a godforsaken fishing village in Cornwall. It is not a particularly nice place - the sea is polluted, the fish are deformed or dead, and the boundaries of the bay are guarded by huge container ships which look quite menacing. Whenever the fishermen return with their catch, a mysterious woman in a grey coat with two men in suits waits for them to collect the fish and hand wads of cash in return. Timothy had visited this area 10 years before with his then girlfriend, and now wife Lauren, and he wants to find refuge here from city life. For some reason he thinks it's a good idea, not for long though... Ethan is a local fisherman. The house Timothy bought used to belong to Perran who had died at sea a decade earlier. We don't really get to find out who he was as the whole village refuses to talk about him for some mysterious reason. We only get some snippets, from Ethan and another fisherman Clem, and it's hard to decide what their relationship with Perran was. Ethan is particularly emotionally attached to Perran and blames himself for his death. The event of a stranger moving into the dead man's house unleashes a sequence of events which I thought I was more or less following but when I got to 90% on my Kindle, it all suddenly shifted and I was left with the need to reconstruct the whole story all over again. And I can't say I reached a satisfactory conclusion. For example, I still haven't really figured out who the woman in a grey coat is (Death?). It's a very odd, eerie, depressing story about grief and loss, with elements of gothic and dystopia. The world is bleak, grey, there seems to be no hope. And yet I was strangely drawn into it, and savoured the beautiful language. Because Menmuir provides the twist in the story towards the end, I feel I need to read this book again to see how I interpret it, knowing all I know now. This was a fascinating literary adventure, the most original book I've read in a while (the last novel that took me on a ride like this was "The Bone People" by Keri Hulme).