All that changes when, one morning, she sees her mother crying. As she tries to find out why, she is drawn on an extraordinary journey into the secrets of her family, and her mother's fateful choices.
Can Angela lead her mother back to happiness before her innocence is destroyed by the shadows of a dark past?
Beautiful, poetic and richly sensory, this is a tale that will haunt and lift its readers.
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Reviews for The Woman Behind the Waterfall
“Readers looking for a classic tale of love and loss will be rewarded with an intoxicating world” ~~ Kirkus Reviews
“The language is lyrical and poetic and, in places, begs to be read repeatedly for the sheer joy of it… A literary work of art.” ~~ Fiona Adams, The Richmond Magazine
“Rich and poetic in detail, it is an often dreamy, oneiric narrative rooted in an exaltation of nature… A lovely novel.” ~~ IndieReader
About the Author
Leonora Meriel grew up in London and studied literature at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and Queen’s University in Canada. She worked at the United Nations in New York, and then for a multinational law firm.
In 2003 she moved from New York to Kyiv, where she founded and managed Ukraine’s largest Internet company. She studied at Kyiv Mohyla Business School and earned an MBA, which included a study trip around China and Taiwan, and climbing to the top of Hoverla, Ukraine’s highest peak and part of the Carpathian Mountains. She also served as President of the International Women’s Club of Kyiv, a major local charity.
During her years in Ukraine, she learned to speak Ukrainian and Russian, witnessed two revolutions and got to know an extraordinary country at a key period of its development.
In 2008, she decided to return to her dream of being a writer, and to dedicate her career to literature. In 2011, she completed The Woman Behind the Waterfall, set in a village in western Ukraine. While her first novel was with a London agent, Leonora completed her second novel The Unity Game, set in New York City and on a distant planet.
Leonora currently lives in Barcelona and London and has two children. She is working on her third novel.
Author Q & A: The Woman Behind the Waterfall
What was your inspiration for The Woman Behind the Waterfall?
The Woman Behind the Waterfall was my debut novel and the main inspiration for it was the country of Ukraine. My first husband was Ukrainian and I had lived there for ten years, absorbing the culture, experiencing an extraordinary country, and witnessing the incredible beauty of its countryside and nature. I was aware that very few people in the world knew about it intimately, and this thought was my first, and most powerful inspiration – that I could write a novel that showed its culture and let readers all over the world know what the country was like.
Why do you think people will enjoy the Woman Behind the Waterfall?
There are several reasons why a reader might like it. If they are not familiar with the country of Ukraine, then they will learn about the culture and language and landscapes of this wonderful place. The genre is Magical Realism, so if they enjoy this, they might love the character of Angela, who transforms into a bird and flowers and air. Most of all, though, it is quite a strange book. Some of the prose is like poetry, there are strange plot twists going into the past and alternative lives, some characters are spirits or dead. If you like something quite challenging and different, then this book is for you.
Was writing always your passion, or did you ever have a different career in mind?
Writing was always always always my passion. When I left university I had several other jobs before I turned to full-time writing at 30, however it has been the single great passion of my life.
What author/story do you look up to and use for ideas/inspiration?
I have several favorite authors who I hold as the standard to strive towards, and in that sense I use them as inspiration. Haruki Murakami pushes boundary after boundary in his novels. His realities have no limits to them, and yet his novels are readable, make perfect sense, and he is wildly popular. Amazing! The language of Virginia Woolf in Mrs Dalloway or To the Lighthouse inspires me to craft and craft again until each sentence is perfect. The intellectual power of Ursula Le Guin inspires me to work harder at my ideas and present them in a more intense way. Of course there are others, but these are my top three.