I missed this book when it was first published in 1998 and so came to it with some anticipation. I was not disappointed. Set on the Somerset/Dorset border, it tells the interlinking tale of Gally, her husband Mike and elderly countryman Ferney. It’s difficult to review without giving away too much of the story, suffice to say it combines modern and ancient love stories in a setting so evocative of this mythical magical part of the world. It makes you believe in the power of true love.
Young couple Mike and Gally find a rundown cottage at Penselwood and move into an old caravan next door while the builders renovate. The countryside seems to dispel Gally’s nightmares and her sadness at a miscarriage, in fact the countryside seems to be a character in itself and is an integral part of the story. History, folklore and nature are woven into a love story across the centuries.
I know and will read it again and again, it is an uplifting story stuffed with history from Saxon times via witchcraft and rebellions. Just when you think you have worked it out, something unexpected happens. It is tender, touching, and right up until the last page you wonder how the story will be resolved.
‘Ferney’ by James Long
Thank you for bringing this book to my attention. I checked and my library has a copy, so I’ll be reading it soon, thanks to your great review. I love these kinds of simple, magical novels 🙂
I’ve got the sequel ‘The Lives She Left Behind’ sitting on my to-read shelf now! SD