The irrevocable bond of family, even the ones that are tattered and torn, is at the heart of this moving story. Two children and their reclusive, difficult father eke out a hardscrabble living on an isolated farm in Yorkshire, England with nothing but their love for each other to sustain them. Told from the perspective of the young boy, the encroachment of his father's violent past moves the family inexorably towards tragedy. The author writes with a beautiful sense of place and remarkably conveys both the innocence and the chilling awareness coexisting in her two young characters. — Alden Graves
“It’s like us humans sending rockets up to the moon only to spend the next fifty years gazing at the pictures of our own earth.”
A novel that is deeply about a sense of place, what it means to consider a particular landscape, home. A family living out of sync with the norms of society in their idea of home, are brutally brought to task by it’s conforms. Darkly chilling, yet mesmerizing. — Becky Doherty
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.
About the Author
Fiona Mozley was born in Hackney but grew up in York and studied at Cambridge before moving to Buenos Aires for a year -- without speaking any Spanish. After briefly working at a literary agency in London, she moved back to York to complete a PhD in Medieval Studies. She also has a weekend job at the Little Apple Bookshop in York. Elmet is her first novel and has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017.