The ash, the well & the bluebell
Published by Makaro Press, New Zealand
ISBN: 9 780995 119123
Published: 15 August, 2019
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Losing her daughter to the Christchurch earthquake sends Lily back to her childhood village in Northern England to scatter Charlie’s ashes. It’s a place of ghosts for Lily after the mysterious drowning of a school friend at the old village well – a tragedy somehow linked to the death of a local woman accused of witchcraft three hundred years earlier. Now Lily’s back, she wants to find out what happened at the well and the truth behind the swift departure of her friend Israel
The Ash, the Well and the Bluebell spans three centuries and three countries, exploring the love and history that makes a community, and the hate and secrets that can destroy.
Blackball Writers Festival, June 2021
NZ Writers Read Series, 2020
Just finished reading this novel. A story that goes back and forth in time from the murder of a wise woman in a 17th century English village to the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes in the early 21st century. The book is skillfully structured. The tone is humane, empathetic and generous. I enjoyed very much the portrait of 1950s family and village life: stiflingly small houses, austere conformist schooling, hypocritical churchgoing, a war memorial making a legacy of military massacre - yet also a village where many people are at least partly in touch with their own myths. And a village with a library - and as in so many libraries, a truth-seeking librarian!
The NZ Herald Canvas Magazine (page 38)