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Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Thursday, 30 August 2012

"In the springtime of the year" by Susan Hill

Don't read this book on the train! Whilst it might be acceptable (just) to laugh in public, it is embarrassing to weep.

Ruth's husband of less than a year, Ben, has been killed by a tree falling on him. This book charts the progress of her grief, and the utterly individual griefs of his father, mother, sister and brother, and how his death affects the tight knit farming community. It charts the progress of the rural year, it details rural poverty, and it is suffused throughout by spirituality and the rituals of the church.

It is brilliant. It is harrowing. I found my eyes leaking water at moments unbearably, poignantly mundane. This is bereavement vividly and remorselessly chronicled.

Gut-wrenchingly perfect.

August 2012; 254 pages.

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