“A woman drowned in the River Hanna when the men were away. She was found in the dark pool below Hannesford Court, not far from the place where the river gurgles from the moor. No stone was placed in the churchyard and the grass grows quickly there, so few remember. Memory is an uncertain witness.”
Tom Allen swore he would never return to Hannesford Court. The beautiful home of the Stansbury family, Hannesford had been Tom’s refuge – until it was tainted by events in the last weeks before the war, in the hot summer of 1914.
But returning from France in the winter of 1919, Tom finds himself alone in London at Christmas. The world has changed. The young men he went off to fight with are mostly dead. And a last-minute invitation from the lovely Margot Stansbury proves irresistible.
But Hannesford is still mourning the fallen, and the past is not easily forgotten. As Tom recalls again the strange events of 1914, he discovers a web of secrets and deceptions he had never imagined. The more he discovers in his pursuit of the truth, the more he realises that he never really knew Hannesford and its people at all.
A moving novel about memory, loss and love, in October 2013 The Year After was chosen by bookseller Sam Buckley as her personal selection for the BBC’s Arts Show.
- ‘Moving and gripping, this is an absolute page turner.’ (New Books)
- ‘Compelling and highly readable… a master of the evocative. His descriptions are breathtaking.’ (We Love This Book)
- ‘As twist follows twist, the truth is exhumed, building to a crescendo with effects that remain unpredictable right through to the last pages.’ (The Book Bag)