Quentin and Lottie Bredin, like many modern couples, can’t afford to divorce. Having lost their jobs in the recession, they can’t afford to go on living in London; instead, they must downsize and move their three children to a house in a remote part of Devon. Arrogant and adulterous, Quentin can’t understand why Lottie is so angry; devastated and humiliated, Lottie feels herself to have been intolerably wounded.
Mud, mice and quarrels are one thing – but why is their rent so low? What is the mystery surrounding their unappealing new home? The beauty of the landscape is ravishing, yet it conceals a dark side involving poverty, revenge, abuse and violence which will rise up to threaten them.
Sally Verity, happily married but unhappily childless knows a different side to country life, as both a Health Visitor and a sheep farmer’s wife; and when Lottie’s innocent teenage son Xan gets a zero-hours contract at a local pie factory, he sees yet another. At the end of their year, the lives of all will be changed for ever.
A suspenseful black comedy, this is a rich, compassionate and enthralling novel in its depiction of the English countryside, and the potentially lethal interplay between money and marriage.
For me this was a slow-burner
I was putting it down and not picking it back up. I read 3 other books that I whizzed through.
But I kept coming back to this book, it was nice, it was interesting. I thought about giving up on it, even at 50%, but I persevered and I’m so glad I did. The second half of the book is so much more gripping.
The writing is excellent, and the descriptions of the Devon countryside made me think about past holidays in cottages down narrow country lanes. Looking at the beautiful nature of the area, the trees, the birds, the dark night sky.
I liked getting to know all the residents, the locals.
Learning about the different trades was really interesting, architect, journalist, sheep farmer, health visitor etc. And even the workings of a pie factory.
The loose ends tied together beautifully, and in the end it was a pleasure to read.
Thank you to the publishers Little, Brown for the early copy of this book.
Publication day 15th June 2017
Get your copy here The Lie of the Land