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Melissa Harrison: All Among the Barley

Edie has left school at fourteen because her father needs her help on the farm. The area is short on men since the end of the war and the depression is beginning to take hold. That summer Edie is missing her sister and finding herself when a tall, intelligent stranger Constance appears. She is kind and interested in life on the farm but also, crucially, is interested in Edie. Her columns on the preservation of traditional farming techniques paint the family’s farm as a rural idyll and all seems well…

Author: Melissa HarrisonImage result for melissa harrison all among the barley

Title: All Among the Barley

Press: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: 2018

Rating: 9

Confession time, I bought this book for my mum for mother’s day… but I finished my previous book while I was out and started reading this on the way home and it was too good to give away part way through (I promise I’ll bring it home for you when next I can).

This was a beautiful book. It gave me strong Thomas Hardy vibes, which I had been told but was sceptical about. However, the strongest influence I could see was the of Lewis Grassic Gibbon and THAT is high praise indeed.

The scene setting is so carefully detailed that I think it set off my hay fever and it certainly increased my lust for the countryside. Edie is naïve and her narration is poised perfectly. She is a girl on the brink of womanhood and her observations are true to that voice.

There are twists and turns all the way through this and I would love someone who has read it to talk to because I didn’t see any of them coming!

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