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Elmet
by Fiona Mozley

Published: 2017-12-05
Paperback : 320 pages
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FINALIST FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE

The family thought the little house they had made themselves in Elmet, a corner of Yorkshire, was theirs, that their peaceful, self-sufficient life was safe. Cathy and Daniel roamed the woods freely, occasionally visiting a local woman for some schooling, ...
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Introduction

FINALIST FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE

The family thought the little house they had made themselves in Elmet, a corner of Yorkshire, was theirs, that their peaceful, self-sufficient life was safe. Cathy and Daniel roamed the woods freely, occasionally visiting a local woman for some schooling, living outside all conventions. Their father built things and hunted, working with his hands; sometimes he would disappear, forced to do secret, brutal work for money, but to them he was a gentle protector.

Narrated by Daniel after a catastrophic event has occurred, Elmet mesmerizes even as it becomes clear the family’s solitary idyll will not last. When a local landowner shows up on their doorstep, their precarious existence is threatened, their innocence lost. Daddy and Cathy, both of them fierce, strong, and unyielding, set out to protect themselves and their neighbors, putting into motion a chain of events that can only end in violence.

As rich, wild, dark, and beautiful as its Yorkshire setting, Elmet is a gripping debut about life on the margins and the power—and limits—of family loyalty.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of December 2017: Fiona Mozley’s debut novel is a surprising, serious story with some of the best writing about nature and family published this year. Short listed for the Man Booker prize, Elmet begins with a young person – without name or sex – walking along a railroad line in the north of England, searching for someone lost. The origins of that scene unfold: a family has sought refuge on a patch of woods that was once theirs, but their harmonious and humane way of life in this Edenic setting is threatened by conflict with “Mr. Price,” the rapacious new landowner. Mozley’s liberal sympathies are all out in the open across a range of issues from unionization to privatization and gender identity. But even to readers who might not share her politics, Elmet presents a persuasive and evocatively written argument. Her vision of what rural life could be is only slightly tempered by the knowledge that like all Edens, this one must be left behind. --Sarah Harrison Smith, Amazon Book Review

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by Ljwagoner (see profile) 03/18/18

Disturbing & haunting yet beautifully crafted- The quality of the writing & the flow of the sentences was amazing. These qualities kept me reading as the pace is slow. But don’t be fooled...the story... (read more)

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