Father and Son, Landyn and Vale Midwinter, are Suffolk farmers, living together on land their family has worked for generations. But they are haunted there by a past they have long refused to confront: the death of
Cecelia, beloved wife and mother, when Vale was just a child. Both men have carried her loss, unspoken. Until now.
With the onset of a mauling winter, something between them snaps.
While Vale makes increasingly desperate decisions, Landyn retreats, finding solace in the land, his animals - and a vixen who haunts the farm and seems to bring with her both comfort and protection.
Tender and lyrical, alive to language and nature, Midwinter is a novel about guilt, blame, lost opportunities and, ultimately, it is a story about love and the lengths we will go to find our way home.
REVIEWS of MIDWINTER
The opening scenes of Fiona Melrose's debut, Midwinter, could hardly be more gripping; but the novel she hangs on the hook of that action-packed beginning is something quieter, broader, and more considered than it initially gives you reason to expect . . . Finely judged writing like this comes from a place of instinct, and it marks Melrose out as someone to watch . . . Midwinter is a great success. (Melissa Harrison, The Guardian, Book of the Day)
Melrose elegantly weaves narratives detailing the men's internal tumult with lush descriptions of their natural surroundings . . . A moving story about the cruelty of chance, modern masculinity and the transformative power of the bonds between men. (Financial Times)
I have rarely read a narrative voice as distinctive as Landyn's, and the loving depiction of regional English working-class masculinity is unusual and timely . . . This is certainly not a light-hearted book, but it offers the true consolation of some very good writing (Sarah Moss, TLS)
A fabulously frosty tale of the bleak Suffolk countryside . . with gorgeously understated prose and a keen eye for nature. It deserves to be read in front of a fire with the wind roaring outside. (Alex Preston, Observer)
The descriptions of the natural world, both in Suffolk and Zambia, are impressive, but it's the portrayal of human despair that hits hardest . . . The novel is a penetrating study of grief and guilt (Daily Mail)
Luminous... you fall in love with a story like this one. (Chicago Tribune Audio Review)
The emotions between the pair are a hot, raw burn of guilt, recrimination and misplaced affection . . . It's a beautifully perceptive story that will stay with you. (Express)
A beautifully perceptive debut (Psychologies magazine)
In this quietly stunning debut the author Fiona Melrose has created a moving and astutely drawn playing out of a family crisis. . . . Fiona has that rarest gift of breathing life into her characters, as well as the worlds in which they live. (Essie Fox, author of Elijah's Mermaid)
Visceral, beautiful and heartwrenching (Morgan McCarthy, author of The House of Birds)