Fiona Melrose - Midwinter - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9781472151780
    • Publication date:02 Nov 2016
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    • ISBN:9781472151773
    • Publication date:02 Nov 2016

Midwinter

By Fiona Melrose

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A heartbreaking story about a farming family, set between Suffolk and Zambia. Midwinter is a story of grief, forgiveness and family love. Longlisted for the Baileys Prize for Fiction 2017

LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS PRIZE FOR FICTION 2017

'Finely judged writing like this comes from a place of instinct, and it marks Melrose out as someone to watch . . . Midwinter is a great success' Melissa Harrison, Guardian

Father and Son, Landyn and Vale Midwinter, are Suffolk farmers, living together on land their family has worked for generations. But they are haunted there by a past they have long refused to confront: the death of Cecelia, beloved wife and mother, when Vale was just a child. Both men have carried her loss, unspoken.

Until now.

With the onset of a mauling winter, something between them snaps.

While Vale makes increasingly desperate decisions, Landyn retreats, finding solace in the land, his animals - and a vixen who haunts the farm and seems to bring with her both comfort and protection.

Tender and lyrical, alive to language and nature, Midwinter is a novel about guilt, blame, lost opportunities and, ultimately, it is a story about love and the lengths we will go to find our way home.

Longlisted for the New Angle Prize 2017

'Melrose elegantly weaves narratives detailing the men's internal tumult with lush descriptions of their natural surroundings . . . A moving story about the cruelty of chance, modern masculinity and the transformative power of the bonds between men' Financial Times

'I have rarely read a narrative voice as distinctive as Landyn's, and the loving depiction of regional English working-class masculinity is unusual and timely . . . This is certainly not a light-hearted book, but it offers the true consolation of some very good writing' Sarah Moss, TLS

'A penetrating study of grief and guilt' Daily Mail

Biographical Notes

Fiona Melrose was born in Johannesburg but has spent the majority of her adult life in the UK, first in London and then in East Anglia. She moved to Suffolk to concentrate on her writing and it is there that Midwinter was conceived. Previously Fiona has worked in academia, NGO's, public affairs and as an emerging markets analyst. She continues to keep a foot in both continents and is currently spending the majority of her time back in South Africa where she is completing her second novel.

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  • ISBN: 9781472151797
  • Publication date: 02 Nov 2016
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  • Imprint: Corsair
The opening scenes of Fiona Melrose's debut, Midwinter, could hardly be more gripping; but the novel she hangs on the hook of that action-packed beginning is something quieter, broader, and more considered than it initially gives you reason to expect . . . Finely judged writing like this comes from a place of instinct, and it marks Melrose out as someone to watch . . . Midwinter is a great success. — The Guardian, Book of the Day
Melrose elegantly weaves narratives detailing the men's internal tumult with lush descriptions of their natural surroundings . . . A moving story about the cruelty of chance, modern masculinity and the transformative power of the bonds between men. — Financial Times
I have rarely read a narrative voice as distinctive as Landyn's, and the loving depiction of regional English working-class masculinity is unusual and timely . . . This is certainly not a light-hearted book, but it offers the true consolation of some very good writing — Sarah Moss, TLS
A fabulously frosty tale of the bleak Suffolk countryside . . with gorgeously understated prose and a keen eye for nature. It deserves to be read in front of a fire with the wind roaring outside. — Alex Preston, Observer
Heartbreaking . . . We were immediately gripped by this story of grief, guilt and love - cosy up by the fireplace with a cup of tea and lose yourself into Fiona's powerful debut novel. — Hello magazine
The descriptions of the natural world, both in Suffolk and Zambia, are impressive, but it's the portrayal of human despair that hits hardest . . . The novel is a penetrating study of grief and guilt — Daily Mail
The emotions between the pair are a hot, raw burn of guilt, recrimination and misplaced affection . . . It's a beautifully perceptive story that will stay with you. — Express
In this quietly stunning debut the author Fiona Melrose has created a moving and astutely drawn playing out of a family crisis. . . . Fiona has that rarest gift of breathing life into her characters, as well as the worlds in which they live. — Essie Fox, author of Elijah's Mermaid
A breathtaking debut novel — Readers Digest
Melrose balances the dark topics of her debut with a dash of optimism. — Daily Record
Visceral, beautiful and heartwrenching — Morgan McCarthy, author of The House of Birds
A beautifully perceptive debut — Psychologies magazine
It's difficult to write about grief in such a way that it doesn't weigh down the words but with her debut novel, Fiona Melrose has tackled the topic with a vitality that draws you in. A beautiful and engaging read. — Image magazine
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Fiona Melrose
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Abbi Waxman

Born in England, Abbi Waxman has worked as a copywriter and then a creative director at various advertising agencies in London and New York, including Ogilvy and Mather, Y&R, Grey, and Wunderman. After successfully ghost-writing Nicole Ritchie's novel, Abbi quit advertising, and turned to writing of her own. Abbi lives in Los Angeles with her husband, three kids, three dogs, three cats and seven chickens.

Ali McNamara

Ali McNamara attributes her over-active and very vivid imagination to one thing - being an only child. Time spent dreaming up adventures when she was young has left her with a head bursting with stories waiting to be told.When stories she wrote for fun on Ronan Keating's website became so popular they were sold as a fundraising project for his cancer awareness charity, Ali realised that not only was writing something she enjoyed doing, but something others enjoyed reading too. Ali lives in Cambridgeshire with her family and two Labradors. When she isn't writing, she likes to travel, read, and people-watch, more often than not accompanied by a good cup of coffee. Her dogs and a love of exercise keep her sane!To find out more about Ali visit her website: www.alimcnamara.co.uk or follow her on Twitter: @AliMcNamara

Angela Huth

Angela Huth has written three short story collections and several novels. She also writes plays for radio, television and stage, and is a well-known freelance journalist, critic and broadcaster. She is married to a don, lives in Oxford and has two daughters.

Anita Shreve

Anita Shreve is the author of nine other critically acclaimed and bestselling novels, all published in Abacus paperback.

Beryl Bainbridge

Beryl Bainbridge was one of the greatest living novelists. Author of seventeen novels, two travel books and five plays for stage and television, she was shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, and won many literary awards including the Whitbread Prize and the Author of the Year Award at the British Book Awards. She died in July 2010.

Cath Staincliffe

Cath Staincliffe is an award winning novelist, radio playwright and creator of ITV's hit series Blue Murder. Cath's books have been shortlisted for the CWA Best First Novel award. She was joint winner of the CWA Short Story Dagger in 2012. Letters To My Daughter's Killer was selected for the Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club on ITV3 in 2014. Cath also writes the Scott & Bailey books based on the popular ITV series. She lives with her family in Manchester.

Catherynne M. Valente

Catherynne M. Valente is the New York Times bestselling author of over two dozen works of fiction and poetry, including Palimpsest, the Orphan's Tales series, Deathless and the crowdfunded phenomenon The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. She is the winner of the Andre Norton, Tiptree, Mythopoeic, Rhysling, Lambda, Locus and Hugo awards. She has been a finalist for the Nebula and World Fantasy Awards. She lives on an island off the coast of Maine with a small but growing menagerie of beasts, some of which are human.

Chris Bunch

Chris Bunch is a Vietnam veteran and served as a patrol commander and combat correspondent for Stars and Stripes. He has written for the underground press, outlaw motorcycle magazines and Rolling Stone.

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is the author of the hugely popular Morland Dynasty novels, which have captivated and enthralled readers for decades. She is also the author of the contemporary Bill Slider Mystery series, as well as her new series, War at Home, which is an epic family drama set against the backdrop of World War I. Cynthia's passions are music, wine, horses, architecture and the English countryside.

Daphne Du Maurier

Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was born in London, the daughter of the famous actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of George du Maurier, the author and artist. In 1931 her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published. A biography of her father and three other novels followed, but it was the novel Rebecca that launched her into the literary stratosphere and made her one of the most popular authors of her day. In 1932, du Maurier married Major Frederick Browning, with whom she had three children.Many of du Maurier's bestselling novels and short stories were adapted into award-winning films, including Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now. In 1969 du Maurier was awarded a DBE. She lived most of her life in Cornwall, the setting for many of her books.

E. L. Doctorow

E. L. Doctorow's novels include Andrew's Brain, Homer and Langley, The March, City of God, Welcome to Hard Times, The Book of Daniel, Ragtime, Loon Lake, Lives of the Poets, World's Fair, Billy Bathgate and The Waterworks. Among his honours are the National Book Award, two National Book Critics Circle awards, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Edith Wharton Citation for Fiction, the William Dean Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the presidentially conferred National Humanities Medal. He died in July 2015.

E. V. Thompson

E V Thompson was born in London and spent nine years in the Navy before joining Bristol police. He moved to Hong Kong, then Rhodesia and had over 200 stories published before returning to England to become a full-time award-winning writer. He passed away in 2012.

Elaine Dundy

Elaine Dundy was born in New York. As an actress she worked in Paris and London and then became a writer. She has written plays, biographies and novels including the bestselling THE DUD AVOCADO, her first novel.

Elizabeth Moon

Elizabeth Moon served in the US Marine Corps, reaching the rank of 1st Lieutenant during active duty. She has also earned degrees in history and biology, run for public office and been a columnist on her local newspaper. She lives near Austin, Texas, with her husband and their son. Twenty-six of her books are in print, and she won the Nebula Award with her science fiction novel Speed of Dark (also shortlisted for the Clarke Award), and was a finalist for the Hugo in 1997.

Emma Blair

Emma Blair was a pen name for Scottish actor and author Iain Blair, who began writing in his spare time and whose first novel, Where No Man Cries, was published in 1982. During a writing career spanning three decades he produced some thirty novels, but his true identity remained a secret until 1998 when his novel Flower of Scotland was nominated for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year award. He was one of Britain's most popular authors and his books among the most borrowed from libraries. Iain Blair died in July 2011.

Iain Banks

Iain Banks came to widespread and controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, THE WASP FACTORY, in 1984. He gained enormous popular and critical acclaim for both his mainstream and his science fiction novels. Iain Banks died in June 2013.

J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling is the author of the bestselling Harry Potter series of seven books, published between 1997 and 2007, which have sold over 450 million copies worldwide, are distributed in more than 200 territories, translated into 73 languages, and have been turned into eight blockbuster films. She has also written two small volumes, which appear as the titles of Harry's schoolbooks within the novels. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages were published by Bloomsbury Children's Books in March 2001 in aid of Comic Relief. In December 2008, The Tales of Beedle the Bard was published in aid of the Children's High Level Group, and quickly became the fastest selling book of the year.

Jayne Ann Krentz

Jayne Ann Krentz, who also writes historical and futuristic fiction under the pseudonyms Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle respectively, has more than fifty NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers under various pen names; more than twenty-five million copies of her books are in print. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Visit her at www.krentz-quick.com

Jeffrey Cranor

Jeffrey Cranor co-writes the hit podcast, novel and touring live show Welcome to Night Vale. He has also written more than one hundred short plays with the New York Neo-Futurists, co-wrote and co-performed a two-man show about time travel with Joseph, and collaborated with choreographer (also wife) Jillian Sweeney to create three full-length dance pieces. Jeffrey lives in New York State.