'THE WELL': out in paperback now, a Richard and Judy Bookclub choice for Autumn, 2015 and TV/Film rights sold to a major US studio.
When Ruth Ardingly and her family first drive up from London in their grime-encrusted car and view The Well, they are enchanted by a jewel of a place, a farm that appears to offer everything the family are searching for. An opportunity for Ruth. An escape for Mark. A home for their grandson Lucien.
But The Well's unique glory comes at a terrible price. The locals suspect foul play in its verdant fields and drooping fruit trees, and Ruth becomes increasingly isolated as she struggles to explain why her land flourishes whilst her neighbours' produce withers and dies. Fearful of envious locals and suspicious of those who seem to be offering help, Ruth is less and less sure who she can trust.
As The Well envelops them, Ruth's paradise becomes a prison, Mark's dream a recurring nightmare, and Lucien's playground a grave.
"The Well is Ruth's narrative, a patchwork of memories too painful to forget and those too painful to remember. It is a curious mixture of a story being told, a personal history being recalled, and a reminder being related to a close friend, or even to oneself . . . How could you accurately summarise this book? I've written well over a thousand words and still don't feel I've captured it at all . . . but I couldn't get enough of it. I'll be keeping an eye out for it (and urging everyone to try it) when it's published in March. The Well is comparable to lots of other books in various small ways, but ultimately stands on its own as something totally unique. It confounds expectations and is a stunning debut. 10/10" (Learn This Phrase blog, 10/10)
Listen to the amazing Bookshop Band: two songs inspired by The Well: