It is 1916. The world has gone to war, and young Leo Sercombe, hauling coal aboard the HMS Queen Mary, is a long way from home. The wild, unchanging West Country roads of his boyhood seem very far away. In a world torn asunder by war, everything dances in flux: how can the old ways life survive, and how can the future be imagined, in the face of such unimaginable change? How can Leo, lost and wandering in the strange and brave new world, ever hope to find his way home?
|Publisher||Isis Audio Books; 2019|
1911. In a forgotten valley in Somerset, twelve-year-old Leopold Sercombe is helping his father, a carter, to break a colt. A boy dressed in a Homburg, breeches and riding boots appears, but peering under the stranger's hat, Leo discovers Miss Charlotte, the Master's daughter. And so begins a friendship between the children, bound by a deep love of horses, but divided by rigid social boundaries – boundaries that become increasingly difficult to navigate as they approach adolescence.
IN THE PLACE OF FALLEN LEAVES
One overwhelmingly hot summer everything seems to be slowing down in the tiny Devon village where Alison lives. She feels that time has stopped just as she wants to enter the real world of adulthood. In fact, in the cruel heat of summer, time is creeping towards her, and closing in around the valley.
1912. Aged 13 and banished from the secluded farm of his childhood, Leo travels through Devon, grazing on berries and sleeping in copses. Before him the West Country is spread out like a tapestry. But a wanderer is never alone for long, and soon Leo is taken in by gypsies. Yet he knows he cannot linger, and must forge on to Penzance. Life on the estate continues as usual, yet nothing is as it was. Lottie's father is distracted by the promise of new love and Lottie is increasingly absorbed in the natural world. And of course, Leo is absent. How will the two young people ever find each other again?