A first novel of love, obsession and the destruction of a community, told with grace and artistry. It is 1936 in a remote dale in the old county of Westmorland. For centuries the rural community has remained the same - the Lightburn family have been immersed in the harsh hill-farming tradition. Then a man from the city of Manchester arrives, ...
A first novel of love, obsession and the destruction of a community, told with grace and artistry. It is 1936 in a remote dale in the old county of Westmorland. For centuries the rural community has remained the same - the Lightburn family have been immersed in the harsh hill-farming tradition. Then a man from the city of Manchester arrives, spokesman for a vast industrial project which will devastate both the landscape and the local community. Mardale will be flooded to create a new reservoir. In the coming year this corner of Lakeland will be evacuated and transformed. When Jack Liggett, the Waterworks' representative, begins a troubled affair with Janet Lightburn, things take a further turn for the worse. A woman of force and resolve, her natural orthodoxy deeply influences him. Finally, in tragic circumstances, a remarkable, desperate act on Janet's part attempts to restore the valley to its former state. Told in luminous prose with an intuitive sense for period and place, Haweswater remembers a rural England that has been disappearing for decades, and introduces a young storyteller of great imaginative and emotional power.
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Publishers Weekly, 2006-08-14 Mardale, the remote British hamlet where Hall's remarkable debut novel is set, is a close-knit community of tenant farmers "where grand events and theatrical schemes rarely take place." So when a handsome stranger arrives in 1936, suspicions run high among the hardworking villagers. Jack Liggett is up-front about his plans for Mardale: he has come to inform the villagers that their homes would soon be at the bottom of a massive reservoir. According to Liggett, the dam associated with the project will be a "wonderful piece of architecture and engineering." But the villagers, who view the project as "so strange and vast that at first it was not taken seriously," resist, setting off a losing struggle between the insular community and the modern world. Caught in the middle is Janet Lightburn, the daughter of a local farmer, who begins a tempestuous and tragic romance with Jack. A Booker Prize finalist for her second novel, The Electric Michelangelo, (published in the U.S. in 2005), Hall is a talented writer, and though U.S. readers may have trouble with the phonetically rendered dialogue ("Twa Pund. Eh? Yan more ootstanding' "), the story, with its undertones of loss and grief, tugs at the heart. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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