15th century Oakham, in Somerset; a tiny village cut off by a big river with no bridge. When a man is swept away by the river in the early hours of Shrove Saturday, an explanation has to be found: accident, suicide or murder? The village priest, John Reve, is privy to many secrets in his role as confessor. But will he be able to unravel what happened to the victim, Thomas Newman, the wealthiest, most capable and industrious man in the village? And what will happen if he cant?Moving back in time towards the moment of Thomas Newmans death, the story is related by Reve an extraordinary creation, a patient shepherd to his wayward flock, and a man with secrets of his own to keep. Through his eyes, and his indelible voice, Harvey creates a medieval world entirely tangible in its immediacy....
|Title||:||The Western Wind|
|Number of Pages||:||304 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Download » The Western Wind|
The Western Wind Reviews
Old World Misery at its Finest.
Wonderful characters built with rich, evocative, suitably oldie language. Full of subtle, clever humour and a million forgotten observances of the pre-lent Middle Ages church that just seem absolutely nuts now. It's a very different book, structured in a way which makes it almost essential that you read it again. If you like historical fiction, read this book and you'll be knee deep in mud, soaked and cold from a misty, smokey rain and you'll swear you have a fever ...more
A crime mystery told in reverse. In less skilled hands this could have been a difficult or frustrating read, but Samantha Harvey is such an amazing writer she more than pulls it off. Beautifully done.
I did not like what the autor made me do: Read a story backwards, haltingly, with quite a bit of effort, trying to keep people and stories apart. Trying to make sense of what happened, trying to figure out a plot that was not unfolding itself before my eyes, but had to be searched and dug for like a hidden core or nugget of wisdom. Against the grain, against the flow, even against my will as it were - albeit the story is finely executed, alive with fully drawn characters (especially its narrator ...more
You know when something moves so slowly it actually seems to be going backwards? The Western Wind is achingly slow, but its backwards motion is intentional. From the discovery of a body we follow the crime back one day at a time to when it was committed - or, as the protagonist Father John Reve has it, ‘Not where you washed up, but the waves that washed you there.’ That’s just one example of Samantha Harvey’s lovely writing, which is the real joy here, because if you’re expecting a Cadfael-style ...more
A historical novel with a difference. Set in 15th Century England and narrated by Reve, a priest the story proceeds at a slow burn reflecting the time in which it is set.
We follow Reve's progress and are privy to his thoughts as he meanders through daily life trying to solve the mystery of Newman's death while ministering to his flock.
The reader shares his observations and hears confessions alongside him. Through him the medieval psyche is revealed with its mix of faith and superstition. We are ...more
1491 and Oakham is a small Somerset village cut off from its neighbours by a flood swollen river. When the wealthy landowner Newman disappears, Priest John Reve has to hold the village together under threat. One by one the villagers come to confess and John finds himself holder of secrets and lies. However John Reve also has secrets and the local Dean may find these out.
For all its setting in a medieval village, this is an age old story of people's secrets and suspicions. Whilst there is plenty ...more
The Western Wind has been widely praised in the British press reviews and I took the Kindle download. This is a crime novel but with a strong philosophical element and it starts off the wrong way round commencing on day four and working backwards to the disappearance of Thomas Newman, local landowner and benefactor.
Father Reve the local priest has deep debates with himself about his actions and how they affect his church and congregation about the very basis of his religion and its bearing on hi ...more
4.5 stars rounded up to 5
The Western Wind really is an extraordinary book. I was drawn into the story right from the start. Samantha Harvey’s writing brings to life the sights, smells and sounds of the daily life of the ordinary people living in Oakham, a small village in Somerset in 1491. So often in historical fiction it’s about the notable historical figures of the period that are the main characters – here there none (although there is a reference to their bishop who is in prison for trying ...more