The new gothic accepts input from many sources: from industrial archaeology to ecofiction, from contemporary nature writing to the brutalism associated with film-maker Ben Wheatley or novelist Ben Myers. It draws as much from children’s fiction, folk music and horror cinema of the 1960s and 70s as it does from more traditionally gothic sources. In addition to supervising his heavy traffic of issues, influences, sly reference and pastiche, Hurley adopts a discursive storytelling method.
–The Guardian on Hurley’s writing.
As with The Loney, it is the writer’s ability to so effectively evoke a sense of place and time that sets it apart, yet this offering has a stagnant, suffocating feeling. Centred on a sheep farming family in a rural and insular setting in Lancashire, the Endlands, the book follows John Pentecost as he returns home after the death of his grandfather, The Gaffer.
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Author(s): Publisher: John Murray
Every autumn, John Pentecost returns to the Lancashire farm where he grew up to help gather the sheep from the moors. Generally, very little changes in the Briardale Valley, but this year things are different. His grandfather - known to everyone as the Gaffer - has died and John's new wife, Katherine, is accompanying him for the first time.
Every year, the Gaffer would redraw the boundary lines of the village, with pen and paper but also through the remembrance of folk tales, family stories and timeless communal rituals which keep the sheep safe from the Devil. This year, though, the determination of some members of the community to defend those boundary lines has strengthened, and John and Katherine must decide where their loyalties lie, and whether they are prepared to make the sacrifices necessary to join the tribe...
Gripping, unsettling and beautifully written, Andrew Michael Hurley's new novel asks how much we owe to tradition, and how far we will go to belong.