Historical Fiction (View all)
In her second novel, Maria McCann returns to the 17th century England, where life is struggling to return to normal after the horrific tumult of the Civil War. In the village of Spadboro, Jonathan Dymond, a 26 year old cider-maker lives with his parents, has until now enjoyed a quiet, harmonious existence.
As the novel opens, a letter arrives from his uncle with a desperate request to speak with his father. When his father returns from the visit the next day, all he can say is that Jonathan's uncle has died. Then Jonathan finds a fragment of the letter in the family orchard, with talk of inheritance and vengeance. He resolves to unravel the mystery at the heart of his family - a mystery which will eventually threaten the lives and happiness of Jonathan and all those he holds dear.
During the reading of a much heavier book, the idea of mullioned windows and cider pressing in rural England in 1672 suddenly sounded very appealing. So far, so very good, but having come to the conclusion that everything about this little number was pretty inane, there was no logic whatever behind my decision to keep on reading until the bitter end; I think I was simply procrastinating. The cover and the title were rather pretty, but it would have been so much more clever of me to stop right there! You may pass on this one!