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So beautifully written, the chills prowl with unexpected menace to climb inside your thoughts, to lurk and provoke. Richard and Juliette’s son Ewan died at the age of 5, Juliette, convinced that her son is still in the house turns to a group of occultists, while Richard searches for the remains of a hangman’s oak tree opposite their home Starve Acre. Andrew Michael Hurley doesn’t waste a single word, each forms a web to create a picture as he captures the essence of a thought or thing. As the story grows, as the oak planted itself in my minds eye, the unsettling force of grief came to settle over everything. I sank into this tale and couldn’t leave, reading from the deep, dark and incredibly soulful first page through to the startling last in one heady afternoon. Folklore gathers in the background, grief preys on the unsuspecting, and a compelling story unfolds. Highly recommended, I have chosen Starve Acre as one of my picks of the month, and a LoveReading Star Book.
The worst thing possible has happened. Richard and Juliette Willoughby's son, Ewan, has died suddenly at the age of five. Starve Acre, their house by the moors, was to be full of life, but is now a haunted place.
Juliette, convinced Ewan still lives there in some form, seeks the help of the Beacons, a seemingly benevolent group of occultists. Richard, to try and keep the boy out of his mind, has turned his attention to the field opposite the house, where he patiently digs the barren dirt in search of a legendary oak tree.
Starve Acre is a devastating new novel by the author of the prize-winning bestseller The Loney. It is a novel about the way in which grief splits the world in two and how, in searching for hope, we can so easily unearth horror.
Hurley is fantastically adept at conveying something beyond the natural or the normal - Observer
A fine writer, with concerns that place him a little to the left of the literary mainstream, a remove that makes him extremely interesting - John Boyne, Irish Times
Hurley's work is like a reincarnation of novels such as John Buchan's Witch Wood or the stories of M.R. James. His prose is precise and his eye gimlet - The Spectator
A superb storyteller - The Times
There is such pleasure in seeing Hurley go about his craft - Sarah Perry, Guardian
Startlingly and daringly original, a story that shivers itself deeply into the consciousness - David Park, author of the 2018 Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Travelling in a Strange Land
Publication date: 31/10/2019
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd an imprint of John Murray Press
|Publication date:||31st October 2019|
|Author:||Andrew Michael Hurley|
|Publisher:||John Murray Publishers Ltd an imprint of John Murray Press|
|Genres:||Family Drama, Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month, Literary Fiction, Relationship Stories, Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Star Books,|
|Categories:||Horror & ghost stories, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Andrew Michael Hurley has lived in Manchester and London, and is now based in Lancashire, where he teaches English Literature and Creative Writing. He has had two collections of short stories published by Lime Tree Press. The Loney is his first novel - it was first published in October 2014 by Tartarus Press, a tiny independent publisher based in Yorkshire, as a 300-copy limited-edition. Author photo © Johnny BeanMore About Andrew Michael Hurley