Sunday, 9 March 2008

Book of the week - Ross Raisin, God's Own Country

Ross Raisin was born in Yorkshire and lives in London. He is twenty-seven years old. Before university he spent time working in the hotel trade in France and Ireland. When he graduated, he began working in a wine bar in London, eventually becoming co-manager. He has continued to work as a waiter while writing this novel, and still does so now as he begins his second, a novel about a Glaswegian ex-shipyard worker, whose life unravels after the death of his wife. God's Own Country is his first novel, and has been promoted as one of the books of 2008. It has been well reviewed by most of the UK broadsheets, and has received positive comments from Colm Toibin and JM Coetzee. The UK hardcover is published by Viking at £14.99 - signed copies should be available at this price.

Sam Marsdyke, the teenage son of a farmer up on the Yorkshire Moors. He spends his days working the sheep, mending fences, trying to dodge the eye of his brutal, silent father, and most of all, watching the transformation of the farms and villages around him. From the top of the moors he watches the goofy ramblers and the earnest 'towns', the families from York, who are feverishly buying up the farmhouses left empty by bankrupt farmers. And as he watches, one young daughter of a new family catches his eye. As he falls for the young, sophisticated girl from London, she begins to see him as a means to escape. She wants to rebel against her parents and he wants to fulfil the fantasy he harbours about her and so they run away together. But this journey across the moors will take a terrifying menacing turn which, for him, will prove his terrible undoing.

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