The Cove, Cynan Jones, 2016
A Welsh novelist, Jones has written a powerful story about a man who is struck by lightning while kayaking off the coast of Wales. He had left no message for his pregnant wife as he headed out to scatter his father’s ashes in a hidden cove that they always pretended was known only to them. When he arrives there, the cove is full of tourists and jet skis so he heads out to sea for a row only to get caught by a storm and struck by lightning. His futile attempts to get back to land, amnesic, one arm paralyzed, no food and little water, are gripping and ultimately totally sad. A doll and a lost child figure in the plot. Only 92 pages long, Jones packs an enormous emotional charge into this small package. I only wish the unnamed kayaker had made it back to his wife and future child.