A searing familystory from one of our most beloved writers
The village is called Mount of Zeal. It’s built in a bowllike an amphitheater, with the winding gear where the stage would be. The pitlies below. Ted Howker’s school is on the edge of Lower Terrace next to thechapel. Upper Terrace—in a thunderous echo of the Bible so loved by Ted’sgrandfather—is Paradise. Ted, his father, and his brothers live in Middle. Inthe beginning: a household of men, all of whom work in the pit.
Susan Hill is an exceptional writer at the height of herpowers. Every word is precisely right: the descriptions of the village and thepit, the people and the farm are exact and true; the heartbreak is inevitableyet new; and the imagery and imagination take your breath away.