“This novel is so subtly written, building up the stories of good people and their tough lives, that we feel and then understand the depth of their relationships to each other and this beautiful, hard land – and so the tragedy of what happens is all the more heartbreaking.”
Towards Mellbreak by Marie-Elsa Bragg is published by Chatto & Windus today!
Praised in early readership by key figures such as Tim Pears and Ian McMillan, Towards Mellbreak is a poetic and beautiful novel; at its heart a hymn to the landscape of Northern England and to a disappearing world. Here Marie-Elsa Bragg embraces the old and beloved English tradition of writing about the land, reminiscent of Dorothy Wordsworth and Ted Hughes, to encapsulate the Northern landscape, and those who tend to it.
Set in Cumbria between Spring 1971 and Spring 1994, Towards Mellbreak covers four generations of a Herdwick hill farming family. It examines religion, folklore and tradition at a time when farming life went through further industrialization and subsidy led changes. It also sensitively examines the consequences of government enforced rules such as organophosphate sheep dipping, which was mandated by the British government until 1992.