At Hawthorn Time

At Hawthorn Time An exquisite and intimate novel about four people s lives and our changing relationship with nature for fans of Jon McGregor and Robert Macfarlane Howard and Kitty have been married for thirty years a

  • Title: At Hawthorn Time
  • Author: MelissaHarrison
  • ISBN: 9781620409947
  • Page: 114
  • Format: Hardcover
  • An exquisite and intimate novel about four people s lives and our changing relationship with nature for fans of Jon McGregor and Robert Macfarlane.Howard and Kitty have been married for thirty years and now sleep in different rooms It was always Kitty s dream to move from their corner of north London into the countryside, and when the kids had left home they moved north,An exquisite and intimate novel about four people s lives and our changing relationship with nature for fans of Jon McGregor and Robert Macfarlane.Howard and Kitty have been married for thirty years and now sleep in different rooms It was always Kitty s dream to move from their corner of north London into the countryside, and when the kids had left home they moved north, to the pretty village of Lodeshill with its one ailing pub and outlying farms Howard often wonders if anyone who lives in this place really has a reason to be there reason than him.Jack was once a rural rebel, a protestor who only ever wanted to walk the land in which he had been born, free and subject to nobody After yet another stint in prison for trespass, he sets off once to walk north up the country s spine with his battered old backpack and notebooks full of scribbled poetry, looking for work in the fields and sleeping under the stars.Jamie is a nineteen year old Lodeshill boy who works in a distribution center and has a Saturday job at a bakery He spent his childhood exploring the woods and fields with his grandfather, and playing with his friend Alex, who lived in the farmhouse next door Now, though, all he dreams of is cars and escape.As the lives of these four people overlap, we realize that mysterious layers of history are not only buried within them, but also locked into the landscape A captivating novel, At Hawthorn Time is about what it means to belong to family, to community, and to place and about what it is to take our own, long road into the unknown.

    One thought on “At Hawthorn Time”

    1. I'm not good at reviewing novels. I read such a small amount of fiction (trying to remedy that this year). I want to avoid retelling the story, and I obviously don't want to give away any of the story line.However, this book was so good and I feel I have to say something about it!,I admit I was prepared to be critical. Comparisons with Robert Macfarlane (surely our greatest 'landscape' writer) didn't sit easy with me. Plus, I live deep in the countryside and am very aware of nature's ways - the [...]

    2. It starts with a bang. In a lane outside the village of Lodeshill there has been a car crash. As the violence of this act is fading, and the wheels are still spinning, the debris from a glove-box is scattered on the tarmac and there is the faint sound of sirens in the distance.Lodeshill is a busy rural village populated by those still working on the land, and those who have sought out its peace. There is Jamie, a teenager whose future is in a dead end job in a huge distribution centre, Howard an [...]

    3. I especially liked the nature writing in At Hawthorn Time, and gradually came to care about the characters, and worried for what was going to happen at the end. But I'm also not sure it needed its beginning (a car crash) and its ending (who is in the car crash). It's a quiet book, and perhaps it would have worked better for me if it had stayed that way. I also wasn't sure about some of the internal voices of the characters (lots of cliches), which sometimes were hard to distinguish from each oth [...]

    4. At Hawthorn Time is a story of people trying to find themselves - not in any New Age vaguely spiritual sense, but in an everyday 'how and where do I fit in' way. We all have an idea, or ideal, of how the English countryside should be - sleepy villages where nothing has changed in hundreds of years, meadows with placidly grazing cows, ancient woodlands, life centred on the turning of the seasons. The reality of heavy farm machinery, migrant workers, the whole modern agricultural business or even [...]

    5. There's much to enjoy about this book. I relished the descriptions of countryside: whether the litter-strewn countryside of the demi-countryside at the edges of towns and motorways, or the fully rural landscape. Melissa Harrison's observations of plant and bird life - minutely different with each passing day - are satisfying. Village life, for good and not-so-good, is described with clear-eyed realism.Characters too ring true. The vagrant Jack is decribed with sympathy and warmth, and while othe [...]

    6. I am mixed about this book. I liked some of the writing and the descriptions of the English countryside, but I found the characters lacking in both appeal and interest to the reader. I also felt the constant descriptions of what the characters to be thinking and feeling detracted from the story. There is little dialogue in this book because the author spends so much time telling us things like what the characters think about their marriage, kids, house, etc instead of writing an actual story. I [...]

    7. Beautifully written by someone who obviously loves the countryside and rural life. This book tells the story of a small group of characters in a rural English village over the course of one month. The cast of characters is diverse, there is Jamie the young car enthusiast who loves is Grandfather. Howard and Kitty the new arrivals whose marriage is in trouble and a wandering vagrant named Jack who simply longs to be close to the land away from people and city life. Over the course of the book ,th [...]

    8. For the longest time I couldn’t understand books which had nature as an integral theme. I don’t know why but I couldn’t. Then I read “The Signature of All Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert and it changed my view of “nature novels” forever. I was intrigued by the genre. I had to read more about the beauty we are surrounded by (albeit what we do with it) and our close connection to the flora and the fauna to speak of.Human beings, most of them have not understood nature and its significan [...]

    9. Originally posted on josbookblog/At Hawthorn Time is Melissa Harrison's second novel, and follow the lives of four people living in the small village of Lodeshill:• Howard and Kitty, who have moved from London seeking the country idyll• Nomadic Jack, who walks to Lodeshill seeking work on a farm, and going out of his way to avoid civilisation where possible, sleeping outdoors and living off the land• Jamie, who has lived in Lodeshill for all of his 19 years, and dreams of escaping the vill [...]

    10. At Hawthorn Time isn't an exception to this rule. Again, we get several different narrators, but this time we get the event that brings them all together at the beginning of the story. A car crash on a small country road in England brings together some very different characters that are connected to the small town, but all so very unlike at the same time. The prologue is written in the second person, really meant to draw the reader in and to prepare them for what is coming, which is very enjoyab [...]

    11. This is a beautifully written, slow paced book about a small village in rural England. There are four main characters. Howard and Kitty moved to the countryside a year ago after their children left home. Their marriage had been strained for years and the challenges of adapting to a new place have further divided them. Jamie is only 19 and grew up in the area but he is also struggling to find his feet and thinks often about a childhood friend who moved away. Finally there is Jack, a drifter, who [...]

    12. I liked this book and its wide perspective, though sometimes it felt a little like the author was using the characters to show of her knowledge or research about the natural world. I liked the characters, all of whom had a realistic interior life and confounded stereotypes nicely. But somehow it felt every so slightly laboured, that the natural world had to be mentioned again and again when in fact the interlocking plots were strong and interesting enough to drive the book forward without quite [...]

    13. This would be a great book for an English Lit class to discuss. As it was, I felt a bit lost without knowing enough about British mythology until I checked it out afterwards. The Green Man, a pub past its prime, is also a mythic Celtic figure representing man’s relationship with nature, the changing seasons, and ultimately death, to which a lot of attention is given throughout the book. He is also symbolized by the homeless man, Jack, who passes by,mostly unseen, and who can’t tolerate being [...]

    14. The novel opens with an apparently fatal car crash and then goes back in time to introduce us to the main characters, some of whom are presumably involved in the accident. All four of the main protagonists are linked in some way and all connected to a small English village. Each of them is invested in their rural environment, as is the author herself as increasingly becomes obvious as the book progresses. Her nature descriptions are beautifully written and show an expert eye. It’s a quiet and [...]

    15. At Hawthorn Time by Melissa Harrison - Very GoodMy first bookray of the year. I signed up on a whim knowing nothing of the book. I'm so glad I did. It is a lovely book.The basic story revolves around a village in the south of England called Lodeshill. There we meet a number of different characters, but the story centres on Jack: an itinerant land worker, Jamie: born and bred in the village and at 19 is reaching a turning point in his life, and a couple: Howard and Kitty who have retired to the v [...]

    16. I loved this story, enjoying the characters, the plot and the writing. Melissa draws the characters so clearly, you can see their viewpoints and frustrations but also see that as always secrets remain hidden. I particularly enjoyed Kitty and Howard and their interactions.Maybe because I come from a small country village so much of it felt incredibly real to me, including the pub and the reference to children colonising wild bits of woods. The descriptions were beautiful as well.The plot is cleve [...]

    17. Overall I liked this book. It has some very powerful passages in it. The kind of writing that stops me in my tracks and makes me re-read it several times before staring off into space to digest.I liked it most when it focussed on the lives of Jack and Jamie. Howard and Kitty really didn't catch my interest though, in fact they were a bit annoying, so, for me, their sections were ponderous and detracted from the whole. It wasn't as tight and perfect to read as "Clay" her first novel but, still, I [...]

    18. Loved some of the themes in this book, especially the tension between life in the countryside and life in the city. The inter-dependency that develops in a long marriage covering up unspoken tensions.And a family's reluctance to acknowledge developing dementia in an old man. It struck me as a book that could have been written by a much older writer. I shall be looking out for other titles by her.

    19. As a person who reads almost no fiction, I have to say I enjoyed Melissa Harrison's At Hawthorn Time very much indeed.It's an extraordinary novel, slipping back and forth between three storylines, the backdrops to each of which are issues concerning rural life in the twenty-first century. There is Jack, an itinerant worker, regarded with suspicion by the locals. There is Jamie, a village lad, trying to find his place in an agricultural community where there are few traditional jobs. And there ar [...]

    20. I found this book just OK. I loved the nature writing and the setting but i found the various plot lines a bit disjointed and although I normally like endings that give the reader a bit of work to do this ending left too much open.

    21. Beautifully written, particularly when describing the nature in and around Lodeshill. The characters are a little flat, and I longed for more complexity in their inner worlds. Reminded me of H is for Hawk, though less absorbing.

    22. Bucolic English countryside wandering with a tramp as he passes through towns and settles finally in one Read after reading notwithstanding.

    23. Thoughtful, reflective and evocative of the British landscape but not sure I understand the ending. Really a 3.75.

    24. Beautifully written, with a gentle meandering sort of feel to it. I found the opaque ending slightly frustrating, but that's just a personal thing - it fit well with the tone of the novel.

    25. really beautifully written literary fiction - great stuff that feels fully immersive, though the ending outright annoyed me!

    26. Good book and masterfully written. Expresses the poignancy and futility of life via the setting and characters that live within it. Slow pace of the book matches the slow pace of the countryside; not liked by everyone!

    27. At Hawthorn Time was one of several Baileys Prize longlisted titles I gifted myself earlier in the year. I picked a few of the more interesting books and made liberal use of my Buy It Now finger, a habit I practice less often now that I'm single and down to one income. It's a necessary economy, still, I allow myself the luxury every now and then. Because there's nothing better than getting a big box of books in the mail to lift the spirits.In the course of the past few weeks, I've been in book c [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *