Harvest by Jim Crace #BookReview

By | March 27, 2014

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I enjoyed reading and dissecting historical novels during English Literacy in school, so when Mumsnet offered me the chance to read and review Harvest by Jim Crace, shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, I was really looking forward to it.

The story is set in a rural village during an unknown time, a story of a society falling apart.

The story is set over seven days and narrated by Walter Thirsk, someone who has been within the village for a long time, but still feels an outsider.

Three strangers arrive in the village and start to build a shelter. That night, the manor house is set on fire.

The strangers are blamed and punished, the narrator is aware who was responsible but keeps quiet. There are suspicions of witchcraft and the village starts to turn on itself from within.

It is a story of a time when the seasons and the harvests controlled the community, a time when a good harvest signalled good fortunes, when a disaster would set off mistrust and chaos.

A section that portrays this brilliantly is:
“We ought to be content. The harvest’s in. Our platters are piled with with meat. There’s grease on everyone’s chin. Our heads are softening with beer. Yet I can tell our village is unnerved..”.

I enjoyed reading this book, each event seemed to flow naturally into the next, until an unexpected (for me) conclusion at the end.

I was very impressed with the way that Jim Crace writes, he created a mesmerising story, I shall be looking out for more of his books.

Disclaimer:
I was sent a free copy of this book for review purposes, my views and words are my own. I’ve linked this review up with other reviews here.

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