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Obras por Scott Preston


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Dark, gritty and certainly not for the faint of heart, The Borrowed Hills by Scott Preston is a stunning debut.

The novel opens in the Cumbrian fells in 2001 and revolves around the lives of the sheep farmers whose fortunes take a turn for the worse when their flocks are afflicted by foot and mouth disease. Among the farms affected is a smallholding belonging to Steve Elliman’s father. Steve, our narrator, had left his family home in search of other opportunities but returned to help his elderly father. But when his flock is afflicted by the deadly disease, he is forced to conform to government regulations. He meets William Herne, the owner of a larger farm. William managed to separate his sick sheep from his healthy flock by hiding them away. Steve tries to help him, but they are unable to save the flock. Steve leaves but returns after he receives news of the death of his father. William is now embroiled with a shady character by the name of Colin Tinley, with whom he is planning a heist to steal the flock from a thriving farm. Steve accepts William’s offer to join him in the heist and stay on with him and his wife Helen, whom he has known since his school days, to help with the farm. The narrative follows Steve as his association with William and Colin leads him down a dark and twisted path.

Sparse yet lyrical prose and the vividly described setting transport you to the Cumbrian fells amid the beauty of hills and the struggling farming community. The author is brutal in his depiction of the fate of the diseased flock and does not hold back while describing the anguish, bleakness and violence from which Steve is unable (and somewhat unwilling) to walk away. What is found particularly compelling about Steve is that he is not portrayed as clueless is he unsuspecting of what might befall him as a consequence of his choices – be it his association with Colin, the growing tensions between him and William or his complicated feelings for Helen – but he chooses to stay, seemingly content in his solitude. The author explores the relationship between these characters and their relationship with the land they call home, the risks they would take and the limits they would cross to protect and preserve their way of life. Superb characterizations and a gripping narrative render this an immersive and powerful read.

I read a DRC of the novel and do not know whether the finished copy includes a glossary for the Cumbrian dialect interspersed throughout the novel (including the names of the chapters). Having a glossary ready to hand would have been useful.

Many thanks to Scribner for the digital review copy via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
… (mais)
srms.reads | 1 outra crítica | Jun 12, 2024 |
Steve is called back to the family farm just as 'Foot and Mouth' spreads throughout Cumbria. His father loses all his stock and soon dies. Steve moves south and works as a lorry driver but is called back and begins work with William. To replace sheep the two conduct an audacious theft but as Steve tends the flock, William comes under the influence of a dangerous man. Now it becomes a battle to live...
This is a very brutal book. The violence and hardship contrast so well with the image of countryside that most have. It's not an easy read but it is worth it.… (mais)
pluckedhighbrow | 1 outra crítica | Apr 24, 2024 |
Great Scott! This guy has written a book I can understand on a subject I've always wanted to learn. If you are trying to do more than write code for microcontrollers and want to use your own or someone else's AI library, this could be the book for you.
sharkfish | Aug 21, 2006 |

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