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
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
A village of scrags and outcasts, Oakham, Beastville, Pigtown, Nobridge. The village that came to no good; the only village for miles around that doesn’t trade wool, doesn’t make cloth, doesn’t have the skill to build a bridge. Here’s the village we pass by, with its singing milkmaids, we call it Cheesechurn, Milkpasture, Cowudder. It’s Lord is as pudgy and spineless as the cheese he makes. Its people are vagrants that were ousted form their own villages and are in most respects desperate. Its...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
The Western Wind was a fascinating read whose characters and story gripped me right from the first chapter. Though it felt a little strange at first, I came to love the backward narration that saw us discovering the truth about Newman's death by reversing time to see what had led to it and what happened in the immediate aftermath. Reve was a wonderful character, and his arc, in particular, held my interest throughout. The Western Wind is one of those works that creeps up on you, seeming simple a ...more
Told through confessions to priest, John Reeve, we work backwards in time to find out how Thomas Newman died. This story is set in the 15 century and was full of interesting historical tidbits.
I loved that the author did their research and actually put in accurate descriptions of this time. Here while we see tidbits of info give a nod to certain historical figures and symbolism, there was not necessarily actual historical characters but rather what they stood for. Panic, rumors and superstition ...more
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
I was gripped by this book from the first page and enjoyed it very much. It is a simple story of an unexplained death in an isolated village in the fifteenth century, not really a detective story although the rural dean is doing his best to uncover the facts, but an account of the relationships surrounding the dead man, seen from the perspective of the priest.
Samantha Harvey writes very well. The time and place are vividly brought to life and the characters are distinct and sympathetically draw ...more
This is a difficult book to review. Did I enjoy it? The short answer is yes, but. The reader has to work at this one, since it is written in a winding, sometimes confusing style, whereby we unravel the story in a backwards fashion.
The most fascinating part of this book is the setting, a small village in Somerset in the 1400s, where religion holds everyone in its grip. The author runs through various themes, the idea of sin being one - John Reve, the priest, has his own secrets, Sarah is apparen ...more