I adore the Lake District – it’s definitely my favourite part of Britain and very possibly my favourite place in the world. It was only ever a matter of time before I set a novel there!
And here it is. The Drowned Village, inspired by the real-life valley of Mardale and the Haweswater reservoir.
Here’s a Pinterest board with images that inspired me while I wrote this novel.
The novel was published on September 20th 2018, as ebook, paperback and audio book.
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Beneath the surface lie forgotten secrets…
A village destroyed
It’s the summer of 1935 and eleven-year-old Stella Walker is preparing to leave her home forever. Forced to evacuate to make way for a new reservoir, the village of Brackendale Green will soon be lost. But before the water has even reached them, a dreadful event threatens to tear Stella’s family apart.
An uncovered secret
Present day, and a fierce summer has dried up the lake and revealed the remnants of the deserted village. Now an old woman, Stella begs her granddaughter Laura to make the journey she can’t. She’s sure the village still holds answers for her but, with only days until the floodwaters start to rise again, Laura is in a race against time to solve the mysteries of Stella’s almost forgotten past.
Haunting and evocative, The Drowned Village reaches across the decades in an unforgettable tale of love, loss and family.
And the prize for the first review of this book goes to… drum roll… Karen at GoBuyTheBook. She “was transported back to 1935, and could truly visualise the landscape and houses making up the village of Brackendale Green”. Thanks so much, Karen!
Pam Norfolk at the Lancashire Evening Post described it as “a haunting and emotional tale of love, loss and betrayal” – thank you, Pam!
Jane Hunt found the ending “poignant and satisfying” – thank you Jane, that is indeed what I was aiming at!
It’s a book to keep you “reading past bedtime”, according to Frost Magazine!
The Secret World of a book blog described it as flowing “with emotion, joy, sadness” – thank you!
Julia Wilson found it a “riveting read” and suggested the BBC might want to film it – oh I wish!
Lovely review from Jennifer Young aka Jo Allen in which she says the book kept her guessing till the very end. Thanks Jennifer!
I don’t normally link to Goodreads or Amazon reviews from this blog but I’m going to make an exception for this lovely review from Shirley on Goodreads, who listened to the audiobook. She found the story ‘well written and the narration was really good’. I’d agree – Maggie Mash, the narrator, is excellent.
Delighted with this review on the Historical Novels Society where the reviewer thinks I manage to find “just the right blend of family saga, mystery and romance” and describes me as “fast establishing herself as a master of the multi-period novel”. Wow. Thank you!
The Book Trail said the “story weaves fact and fiction to a fine finish” – thank you!
The countryside in The Drowned Village was closely based on Mardale Green and the Haweswater reservoir. The hot summer of 2018 caused the reservoir to dry out – life imitating art! Some fabulous photos of the real-life drowned village re-emerging here.
I was interviewed by Love Books Group as part of my blog tour – some really great questions that I thoroughly enjoyed answering.
Short Books and Scribes hosted a leg of my blog tour, and published an extract of my book.
More on the inspiration behind the book on the Novel Points of View blog, of which I am now a contributor.
The Drowned Village has been translated into French and published as Le Village Sous Les Flots. Here’s a review of it on a French blog – thank you!