All Among the Barley (Hardback)Melissa Harrison (author)
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'Powerful and subtle and richly detailed, this is a book that inhabits its territory, knows its people, and follows its own haunting logic…. A masterpiece' - Jon McGregor, author of Reservoir 13
From the author of Costa-shortlisted and Baileys-longlisted At Hawthorn Time comes a major new novel. Set on a farm in Suffolk just before the Second World War, it introduces a girl on the cusp of adulthood and a rural community on the brink of change.
The autumn of 1933 is the most beautiful Edie Mather can remember, although the Great War still casts its shadow over the fields and villages around her beloved home, Wych Farm.
Constance FitzAllen arrives from London to document fading rural traditions and beliefs. For Edie, who must soon face the unsettling pressures of adulthood, the glamorous and worldly outsider appears to be a godsend. But there is more to the older woman than meets the eye.
As harvest time approaches and pressures mount on the entire community, Edie must find a way to trust her instincts and save herself from disaster.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 477 g
Dimensions: 216 x 135 mm
'Harrison is readily comparable with Elizabeth Taylor and Penelope Lively; but she has a distinction all her own - and her growing audience must hope to live long enough to read everything she writes' - Spectator
'Harrison's love of the natural world and its traditions vibrates poetically through every page ... Harrison's imagination is wonderfully strange, her writing beautifully assured and controlled' - The Times
'A powerful exploration of rural lives, nationalism and nostalgia' - Alex Preston, The Observer
'Melissa Harrison's All Among the Barley is an incredible evocation of one particular corner of rural England in the 1930s. Powerful and subtle and richly detailed, this is a book that inhabits its territory, knows its people, and follows its own haunting logic. Some of the great themes of English life are tackled here - class division, the patriarchy, folklore and psychosis, creeping fascism - but rather than being simply ticked off they are instead woven into the narrative with great subtlety and beauty. I've been following Melissa Harrison's work with interest for some time now, and with this novel she's done what I've long suspected she would: she's written a masterpiece' - Jon McGregor, author of Reservoir 13
'All Among the Barley is a work of rare magic' - Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk
'What a brilliant and timely novel All Among The Barley is. Deeply evocative of a historical moment - rural England between the wars, before mechanisation - it is also, unmistakably, about questions that press hard on us now, above all the dangers of nationalism, and how easily a love of place can be corrupted into something dark and exclusionary. This is an important book by a writer of great gifts' - Robert Macfarlane
'In All Among the Barley, Melissa Harrison has created a central character to rival Cassandra in I Capture the Castle. A remarkable and haunting book' - Evie Wyld
'A beautiful, heartbreaking novel of great power. Melissa Harrison has built a world for us, and peopled it, making it solid and real, and all the time making one aware of an awesome fragility - of human minds and bodies, of farmers under politicians and under nature, of ideas that might transform lives or might destroy them. I've been privileged to inhabit this world' - Tim Pears, author of The Horseman
'Melissa Harrison is a dazzlingly gifted writer, and All Among the Barley confirms her as a novelist whose lyrical descriptions of nature and rural English life, harnessed to a gripping plot and varied cast of characters, deserves the widest readership. This is right up with the very best classic novels of inter-War country life - its beauties, sorrows, injustices and realities' - Amanda Craig, author of The Lie of the Land
'Both beautifully evocative and a gripping read - a rare combination ... Throughout, it is suffused with the gorgeous language and keen insight into the natural world that has marked Harrison's work since Clay' - Harper's Bazaar
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