The Woodcock (Hardback)
  • The Woodcock (Hardback)
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The Woodcock (Hardback)

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Hardback 336 Pages
Published: 01/07/2021
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It's 1920s England, and the coastal town of Gravely is finally enjoying a fragile peace after the Great War. John Lowell, a naturalist who writes articles on the flora and fauna of the shoreline, and his wife Harriet lead a simple life, basking in their love for each other and enjoying the company of John's visiting old school friend, David. 

But when an American whaler arrives in town with his beautiful red-haired daughters, boasting of his plans to build a pier and pleasure-grounds a mile out to sea, unexpected tensions and temptations arise.

As secrets multiply, Harriet, John and David must each ask themselves, what price is to be paid for pleasure?

Publisher: Fairlight Books
ISBN: 9781912054985
Number of pages: 336
Dimensions: 216 x 135 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'A novel of shifting, silted landscapes and relationships laid bare, with quiet urgency The Woodcock reveals the complexities of desire, instinct and faith' –Eley Williams, author of The Liar's Dictionary'Beautifully written - I could almost taste the salt' –Carys Bray, author of A Song for Issy Bradley'An astonishing piece of literary ventriloquism - Smyth revisits the period novel with a contemporary sensibility and an incredible sense of place' –Owen Booth, author of The All True Adventures (And Rare Education) of The Daredevil Daniel Bones'This is a funny and thoughtful novel. Sardonic sometimes, mordant at others, it is always witty, fast, and smart' –Tim Dee, author of Greenery'Observing the consequences of the arrival of strangers through the salty prism of a small, northern English coastal town, Smyth has a naturalist's eye for detail, and turns it here upon human nature. The Woodcock is beautiful and unsettling in equal measure' –Jon Dunn, author of Orchid Summer'The world Smyth evokes with his vibrant prose leaps off the page - every character lives and breathes, and beneath its ordinary surface, 1920s Gravely teems with beauty, complexity and mystery' –Jenn Ashworth, author of Fell'Compelling' –Eithne Farry, Daily Mail'Accomplished' -iPaper'Smyth's evocation of place and nature [...] is imbued with a compelling sense of closely observed realism' –Alexander Larman, Literary Review'The bleakness of the coast, the mist, the shifting nature of the sands all speak of contingency, brutality, deception. [...] The period detail and the sensibilities and prejudices of the time are portrayed with great deftness' –Alice Jolly, TLS

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“A novel of the natural and unnatural world”

This novel took my eye as I am a birdwatcher and I really enjoyed all the references to coastal wildlife. It is also a great period novel, set between the wars when women were striving for more influence and men were... More

Paperback edition
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“The Woodcock”

Great read, wonderfully written with an interesting and compelling storyline. Smyth has a gift for original and atmospheric writing. His keen observations of wildlife are a joy to read. Highly recommended.

Hardback edition
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