Haweswater

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9780571209309: Haweswater

It is 1936 in a remote dale in the old, northern county of Westmorland. For centuries the rural community has remained the same, the Lightburn family have been immersed in the harsh hill-farming tradition. Then a man from the city of Manchester arrives, spokesman for a vast industrial project that will devastate both the landscape and the local community. Mardale will be flooded to create a new reservoir, supplying water to the Midland cities. In the coming year this corner of Lakeland will be evacuated and transformed. Jack Liggett, the Waterworks' representative, further compounds the problems faced by the village as he begins a troubled affair with Janet Lightburn. A woman of force and strength of mind, her natural orthodoxy deeply influences him. Finally, in tragic circumstances, a remarkable, desperate act on Janet's part attempts to restore the valley to its former state. Told in luminous prose with an intuitive sense for period and place, Haweswater remembers a rural England that has been disappearing for decades, and introduces a young storyteller of great imaginative and emotional power. 'First impression: here is a new writer of show-stopping genius; everyone should buy this novel ...I stand by my original impressions. Go forth and buy; prepare to weep.' Guardian World rights for Haweswater are controlled by Faber. Polish rights have been sold to Wydawnictwo Literackie.

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About the Author:

Sarah Hall was born in Cumbria in 1974. She is the prize-winning author of five novels - Haweswater, The Electric Michelangelo, The Carhullan Army, How to Paint a Dead Man and The Wolf Border - as well as The Beautiful Indifference, a collection of short stories. The first story in the collection, 'Butchers Perfume', was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award, a prize she won in 2013 with 'Mrs Fox'.

From Publishers Weekly:

Mardale, the remote British hamlet where Hall's remarkable debut novel is set, is a close-knit community of tenant farmers "where grand events and theatrical schemes rarely take place." So when a handsome stranger arrives in 1936, suspicions run high among the hardworking villagers. Jack Liggett is up-front about his plans for Mardale: he has come to inform the villagers that their homes would soon be at the bottom of a massive reservoir. According to Liggett, the dam associated with the project will be a "wonderful piece of architecture and engineering." But the villagers, who view the project as "so strange and vast that at first it was not taken seriously," resist, setting off a losing struggle between the insular community and the modern world. Caught in the middle is Janet Lightburn, the daughter of a local farmer, who begins a tempestuous and tragic romance with Jack. A Booker Prize finalist for her second novel, The Electric Michelangelo, (published in the U.S. in 2005), Hall is a talented writer, and though U.S. readers may have trouble with the phonetically rendered dialogue ("Twa Pund. Eh? Yan more ootstanding' "), the story, with its undertones of loss and grief, tugs at the heart. (Oct.)
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