Hill Farm

Miranda France

Hill Farm

Hill Farm tells the story of what appears to be a perfectly ordinary farming family living in a perfect village in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It feels like a place that will never change. Its fields have been cultivated since medieval times, its farmhouse is crumbling and the same bric-a-brac has been circulating the village jumble sales for decades. But change does come, that summer. It comes in different guises: a handsome farm-hand, a death-watch beetle, a lavender-scented bosom, a lost hedgerow, a disused water tank. But finally it comes in the shape of an explosive argument in the tractor shed, after which nothing will ever be the same again. 3.0 out of 5 based on 6 reviews
Hill Farm

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre General Fiction
Format Paperback
Pages 304
RRP £12.99
Date of Publication April 2011
ISBN 978-0701185800
Publisher Chatto & Windus
 

Hill Farm tells the story of what appears to be a perfectly ordinary farming family living in a perfect village in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It feels like a place that will never change. Its fields have been cultivated since medieval times, its farmhouse is crumbling and the same bric-a-brac has been circulating the village jumble sales for decades. But change does come, that summer. It comes in different guises: a handsome farm-hand, a death-watch beetle, a lavender-scented bosom, a lost hedgerow, a disused water tank. But finally it comes in the shape of an explosive argument in the tractor shed, after which nothing will ever be the same again.

Reviews

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm

If the production team of The Archers ever needs a scriptwriter at short notice, they need look no further than Miranda France ... a cross between an omnibus edition of the radio soap and the gimlet-eyed prose of Stella Gibbons ... Miranda France writes with such assurance, and humour that she carries us along. Not because of what happens, but through the subtle underpinning of her characterisation.

23/04/2011

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The Sunday Times

Elizabeth Buchan

If the plot is familiar, the choreography of village life is beautifully rendered, the shifting inner lives of the characters are subtle and believable and the fresh, sometimes subversive observation is a delight.

08/05/2011

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The Financial Times

Adrian Turpin

...a sort of homage to Cold Comfort Farm, with a dash of Jilly Cooper and The Archers thrown in.

23/05/2011

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The Daily Mail

Wendy Holden

This debut novel from a well-known travel scribe twists coming-of-age drama with Karenina-esque sensual discovery, and perfectly captures the more Gothic aspects of country life.

26/04/2011

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The Guardian

Alfred Hickling

The trouble is that, despite her bracingly anti-romantic view of the countryside, France is rather less disciplined when it comes to the subject of romance. Frequent reference to "the summer when everything changed" presages a plot development that might seem a parody of an Aga-top potboiler, were it not presented with a complete lack of irony ... This sloppiness is a pity because France can be an arresting writer when she wants to be.

23/04/2011

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The Scotsman

Lesley McDowell

[It] is about a family who, crucially, experience a "summer that everything changed". "Nothing will ever be the same again", we are promised, in this "sparkling debut". It's as though the publicity department haven't even read the book. France's prose is not "sparkling". What it is, is thoughtful, deliberate and occasionally humorous as she pokes a little gentle fun at country eccentrics ... Most importantly, though, it's hard to see how this is the summer "that everything changed" when, er, it doesn't.

08/05/2011

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