Lowca is set among the equivocal social and moral values of the rough, grim, Cumbrian mining village. It is a glorious, evocative, heartfelt novel with a unique blend of comedy, tenderness and personal tragedy. Lowca is also a sensitive, tender depiction of young Daniel's relationship with his father, Tom, and their inability to find common ground. Over time the village loses its defining pollutions and industries - its unique society.
The novel is a rich and colourful catalogue of engaging and absorbing narratives, some heartrending, some harrowing, some hilarious. Daniel's wedding in Londonderry during "The Troubles" provides a vivid counterpoint to Lowca's alternate moral and social certainties. There is also Tom's resignation from his "good job" at Micklam Brickworks when he uncovers a coal-stealing scam. But there is a beautiful symmetry in the description of a brutal fist fight in the blackness of the coal shed.
The story is a unique blend of comedy, tenderness and personal tragedy, echoed in the rhythms of the language which adapt to the cadences of the story with masterly precision. Shafts of brilliant wit give a rhythmic structure to what can at times be a harrowing narrative, with superb timing.
Lowca is full of immaculately drawn characters. Billy Vimto, the wartime saboteur who hides his scars under his beret; Tracey, feisty, clever, determined and sensual; Sheila, alluring but sad, over whom Daniel has a voluptuous nosebleed; the exotically named Miss Wildgoose. The novel's characters are drawn with the observational skills and visual dexterity of a writer who is also a professional artist. Who else could make a cliff-hanging climax of painting a simple portrait?
Publisher: The Choir Press
Number of pages: 302
Weight: 466 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm