Everything Under

Everything Under

A Novel

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"Gretel, a lexicographer by trade, grew up on a houseboat with her mother, wandering the canals of Oxford and speaking a private language of their own invention. Her mother disappeared when Gretel was a teen, abandoning her to foster care, and Gretel has tried to move on, spending her days updating dictionary entries. When her mother phones, Gretel will have to recover buried memories of her final, fateful winter on the canals. A runaway boy had found community and shelter with them, and all three were haunted by their past and stalked by an ominous creature lurking in the canal that she called the bonak. And now that she's searching for her mother, she'll have to face it." -- (Source of summary not specified)
Publisher: Minneapolis, Minnesota : Graywolf Press, 2018
ISBN: 9781555978266
Branch Call Number: FICTION Joh
Description: 264 pages ; 21 cm


Featured Blogs and Events

If you like Where’d You Go Bernadette

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple: Bernadette Fox is a fearlessly opinionated wife; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect; and to 15-year-old Bee, she is her best friend and, simply, Mom. But then Bernadette vanishes. It all began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to… (more)

From Library Staff

Gretel grew up on a houseboat with her mother, who disappeared when she was a teen. She has tried to move on, spending her days updating dictionaries, when she receives a cryptic voicemail from her long-gone mother. This startling event leads Gretel to renew her search - and her connection to Mar... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
knitsewrainbow May 20, 2019

Johnson writes a compelling story full of mystery and intrigue, but as the tale unravels beware the heartbreaking, complex, and ultimately broken strands that weave this family together.

May 13, 2019

I was in awe of the writing skills of 27 year old Johnson, youngest ever to be short listed for the Man Booker Prize. The story felt a bit eerie, occasionally confusing, but always an enthralling page-turner as the protagonist finds the mother who abandoned her at age 16 and unwinds the convoluted strands of those intervening years. Johnson deals with the theme of fate, loosely shadowing the Oedipus myth, as well as themes of entangled memories of family and home. Foreboding, yet mesmerizing. A favourite quote:
”Sometimes I wonder if all our choices are remnants of all the choices we made before. As if decisions were shards from the bombs of our previous actions.”

Feb 28, 2019

Alternately removed, otherworldly and mysterious, this Booker-shortlisted first (!) novel uses its settings as central characters, but the characters themselves, shifting through identities and communities, are the most compelling part. The author creates empathetic portraits of people facing very difficult realities, and does it without ever being saccharine or manipulative. Johnson addresses issues of parenting, gender, sexuality, family and more, while telling a story that kept me turning pages and staying up late to find out what would happen next.

Jan 18, 2019

Dark tale of young woman, her mother and water. Didn't complete.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings

LibraryThing Series Information


Find it at CRRL

To Top