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Ferney by James Long


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Mysterious, exciting, immensely rewarding, it is one of those memorable books that has to be among your of all-time favourites. I fell in love with this book when it was first published in 1997. It did moderately well but not as well as it should. I think one of the problems was that up until then James Long had written adventure spy stories, he was formerly BBC correspondent and certainly knew his stuff – but then he produced this enthralling, tangled love story. As so often happens when author’s change direction, his publishers (Penguin) were not keen, so he went to HarperCollins and, if it were today, it would have been published under a pseudonym, as his other historical novels are (Will Davenport) – but that did not happen and the book rather fell between two stools. But for those who read it, Ferney held a special magic, it haunts your memory and even fifteen years later still pulls at the heart strings. Now James has written the sequel, The Lives She Left Behind, and to refresh fans memories and entice new ones, Ferney is republished. It is such a wonderful, uplifting and unusual story of a couple settling in Somerset. As they renovate their house they discover its history, meet a previous inhabitant and unlock its secrets. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

If you like James Long you might also like to read books by Susanna Kearsley, Audrey Niffenegger and Diana Gabaldon.


Ferney by James Long

One of the most brilliant timeslip novels ever written,Ferneywill appeal to fans of The Time Traveller's Wife and Life After Life. When Mike and Gally Martin move to a cottage in Somerset, it's to make a new start. But the relationship comes under strain when Gally forms an increasingly close attachment to an old countryman, Ferney, who seems to know everything about her. What is it that draws them together? Reluctantly at first, then with more urgency as he feels time slipping away, Ferney compels Gally to understand their connection - and to face an inexplicable truth about their shared past. A passionate love story that spans the centuries, fall under the spell ofFerney.

About the Author

James Long

James Long was a BBC TV news correspondent until the end of the 1980s. After two years starting and running an international TV station out of Zurich, he returned to England to concentrate on writing, which had always been his first love. He wrote four thrillers, then went back to a story he had begun many years earlier and which grew into Ferney. The book was originally born from his disappointment at being unable to buy a derelict cottage he had found near the village of Penselwood and that house became the centre of the story. Many more novels followed, including two written under the pseudonym 'Will Davenport.' He moved into historical non-fiction in 2007 with The Plot against Pepys, co-written with his oldest son, Ben. Since then, he has co-written a play with his middle son, Harry. He lives in Bristol. His interests range from archaeology to motor racing. He is actively involved in the creative writing charity, the Arvon Foundation and tutors from time to time on Arvon courses. He is also a patron and adviser to the Dartington Literary Festival, 'Ways with Words.'

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Book Info

Publication date

28th January 2016


James Long

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Author's Website


Simon & Schuster Ltd


560 pages


Literary Fiction
Family Drama
Historical Fiction
Reading Groups
Relationship Stories
Romantic Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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