The figurative language of Gillian Best…

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a series of similes and metaphors from Gillian Best…

The calendar has barely turned on the new year and, already, I think I’ve found my favourite writer for 2018. Her name is Gillian Best (pictured above) and she’s a Canadian who’s been living in the UK for most of the last 12 years. She earned her Masters in Professional Writing from Falmouth University and then went on to receive her PhD in Creative Writing and English Literature from the University of Glasgow. She currently lives, works, and swims in Bristol, UK.

Her debut novel, The Last Wave, displays great assuredness, richly developed characters and some fine figurative language. Here are the similes and metaphors I enjoyed best:

  • As I sat there on the sofa, my chest tightened until I felt as though my lungs were a vacuum, hoovering up all the air and selfishly keeping it to themselves, while my heart pumped aggressively in my chest, desperate for oxygen.
  • When I finally saw the yellow blip of her bathing cap out there in the shark-grey water, I shouted instinctively, even though I knew there was no way she could hear me.
  • It was a mackerel sky that evening. The clouds were lit from underneath in a blood-red hue, and the sun bloomed pink like my myrtle blossoms.
  • Martha cut her lamb with surgical precision. Her plate achieved a level of organization that the armed forces could have aspired to: nothing touched anything else.
  • I looked at the head of my beer as if it were able to tell me the future.