ALL AMONG THE BARLEY
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BY MELISSA HARRISON
The Den were magically transported back in time to inhibit this world of rural English farming in this beautiful, moving and harrowing story told through the eyes of Edie, a young teenager growing up on Wych Farm.
Edie Mather is 13, growing up with her family on an arable farm. Set between the wars in rural England during the 1930’s, maintaining a living by old fashioned methods of farming is proving hard, especially when Edie’s father is resistant to change. Edie is clever, yet her life has been clearly mapped out for her. The arrival of Constance FitzAllen from London, a vivacious outspoken woman, who wants to absorb herself into these traditional methods of country life and record them both honours and questions these traditions. Edie forms a close bond with Constance and you wonder what impact her presence will have on Edie’s future.
The descriptions of the countryside and wildlife are both breath-taking and illuminating. As you move from season to season on the farm you can feel the rhythms of working life. The end is unexpected and brutal. And the political questions it raises about how to change whilst still maintaining the old values still resonate today. The Den are sure you won’t fail to be disappointed by this wonderful, moving and hypnotic read. And a great escape from modern life and all its trappings.
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