Haweswater by Sarah Hall has an intuitive sense for period and place; told in luminous prose, Haweswater remembers a rural England that has been lost for many decades.
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The prizewinning debut from Britain’s most exciting contemporary novelist.
In a remote dale in a northern English county, a centuries-old rural community has survived into the mid-1930s almost unchanged. But then Jack Liggett drives in from the city, the spokesman for a Manchester waterworks company with designs on the landscape for a vast new reservoir. The dale must be evacuated, flooded, devastated; its water pumped to the Midlands and its community left in ruins.
Liggett further compounds the village’s problems when he begins a troubled affair with Janet Lightburn, a local woman of force and character who is driven to desperate measures in an attempt to save the valley.
Told in luminous prose, with an intuitive sense for period and place, Haweswater remembers a rural England that has been lost for many decades.
A strikingly original first novel, full not just of fury but also of the most sensitive compassion for the people and the place, and an understanding of both which is rare.
First impression: here is a new writer of show-stopping genius; everyone should buy this novel... I stand by my original impressions. Go forth and buy; prepare to weep.
One of the most impressive debuts I have read.
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