'One of the most exciting and perfectly executed pieces of fiction that I have ever read' The Spectator
'It haunts you, alike for the queer and mounting suspense and for the masterly portraits of the three men' The Sunday Times
'Few writers have a more exact feel for texture - of a flower, a face, a silence - and it is this that has value,' The Spectator
H. E. Bates's classic novel of love and tragedy.
Betrayed by her lover, Bella Ford sets out on a journey to find him and exact her revenge. Instead her arduous search brings her to the home of the Wainwright family: the pious and good-natured Wainwright, his tough and uncompromising wife, their daughter Nell and their three very different sons, sensitive Matty, quick-tempered Con and sedate Jedd.
Slowly and in their individual ways the Wainwrights restore Bella's trust and, sharing the hardships and pleasure of their lives, she again finds happiness and love.
Then at the traditional Feast of July, the past comes crashing back into Bella's life and, with it, violent and terrible tragedy.
First published in 1954, this timeless love story demonstrates Bates's richly lyrical prose and his literary relationship with the English countryside.