‘Harvest’, by Jim Crace… and my reading habits.

20140808_203735

It’s been over a month since I last published a post on my blog and while I like to think the reasons for that are quite complex,  when I think it through,  it’s quite simple really. I haven’t finished any books. That’s it.

Of course that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. Actually I’ve been reading quite a lot. In fact I’ve been reading 5 or 6 books and switching in and out of them. The sad fact is that none of them really drew me in and most have been abandoned mid-way through.

Then, a visit to the local  library, I spotted ‘Harvest’ and decided to give it a try. From page one I was hooked. It tells the story of an unnamed English village at a time when farming changed dramatically.  Through the eyes of narrator Walter Thirsk we see the village torn apart within one week by a mixture of outside interference in the name of progress and the villagers’ own mistrust of all outsiders. What starts as a single foolish act by some of the villagers sparks conflict, accusations of witchcraft and even murder.

The story is told in almost poetic prose and really draws you in to sympathise with the narrator, himself an outsider to the village. The ending brings a sense of sadness at all that has been lost but also an understanding of the need for personal protest, no matter how small.