Book - 2017
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Fresh and distinctive writing from an exciting new voice in fiction, Elmet is an unforgettable novel about family.

Daniel is heading north. He is looking for someone. The simplicity of his early life with Daddy and Cathy has turned sour and fearful. They lived apart in the house that Daddy built for them with his bare hands. They foraged and hunted. When they were younger, Daniel and Cathy had gone to school. But they were not like the other children then, and they were even less like them now. Sometimes Daddy disappeared, and would return with a rage in his eyes. But when he was at home he was at peace. He told them that the little copse in Elmet was theirs alone. But that wasn't true. Local men, greedy and watchful, began to circle like vultures. All the while, the terrible violence in Daddy grew.

Atmospheric and unsettling, Elmet is a lyrical commentary on contemporary society and one family's precarious place in it, as well as an exploration of how deep the bond between father and child can go.

Publisher: HarperCollins, 2017
Edition: ON ORDER
ISBN: 9781443456036


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Mar 13, 2018

This is a story of struggle. Absent mother and fist-fighter father raising his son (narrator) and daughter in the back country of Britain. They were surviving in their own way off the grid until the evil landowner appeared. The dark atmosphere is reminiscent of Winter's Bone and His Bloody Project it is a dark tale, but is also a tale love, honor, and devotion.

Feb 15, 2018

Gruesome, ugly. Sorry I read it.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jan 25, 2018

When the Man Booker Prize judges name an unknown debut novelist, it's advisable to take notice. And when the named novel makes the shortlist, you can know you've found a new author worth paying attention to.

Fiona Mozley's Elmet is a finely-crafted moody story. The tale focuses on a father and his two children, Cathy and Daniel. The story is told from Daniel's perspective which is an excellent choice for a narrator. Daniel is unique and interesting; although he is central to the story, he exists largely as an observer. It's what happens to those closest to Daniel that truly propels the story.

Mozley wonderfully draws the rugged Yorkshire setting. The language throughout this novel is beautiful and vivid, but keeps with the atmosphere of the rural setting. Whether the characters occupy the surrounding woods or their own living room, the descriptions are always organic, yet crushing (like the forest).

"[Daddy] led Cathy and me by our hands through the narrow corridors of our school. The ceilings were low and lit by halogen strip bulbs that flickered and shone the same colour as the magnolia pain on the walls, making it appear as if the light were emanating from the plaster. The only windows were long and thing and tucked just beneath the ceiling, well above the heads of the children who walked up and down these corridors so that when they looked up and out into the world beyond all they could see was the sky. On that day the sky was a mesh of criss-crossed grey and white cords being ripped and tugged and frayed by colliding winds."

Elmet may feel a bit light in the middle as the bulk of the story rests on the opening chapters and the ever-expected conclusion. Once the story comes full circle, one can see the necessity for the slow build in the middle. This is a story that doesn't rely heavily on being overly ornate or on the use of tricks. It hits hard at times, but not at the risk of losing its heart or voice.

Fans of Winter's Bone and His Bloody Project may appreciate the dark atmosphere of Elmet. The author gifts the reader with a bit more sensitivity than you might find in other similar tales, but that should not be a deterrent to any reader searching for a contemporary tragedy. This is a dark tale, but one that doesn't lose sight of its themes, love, honor, and devotion.

Dec 30, 2017

I love stories of people struggling on the land, of barren wastelands and landscapes, of families scrabbling to survive. But this did nothing for me. The writing is at times achingly beautiful, but it wears on too long without ever developing clear lines around the character or plot, and THAT is where I lose interest. This was my 150th book of the year.

Dec 17, 2017

This is a story of struggle. Mother had left and fist-fighter father was raising his son (narrator) and daughter in the back country of Britain. They were surviving in their own way until the
landowner imposed control and conniving conspiracy. The story developed slowly and methodically until its devestating crescendo ending with a bang.

LPL_KateG Dec 04, 2017

Just heard an interview with the author on NPR and am adding this to my to-read list. Reviews have been raving about the honestly written characters, the lyrical language, and the vivid, atmospheric descriptions of place, so if that's your jam -- join me on the holds list!

Oct 27, 2017

I'm looking forward to reading this book. It made the short list for the 2017 Booker Prize and the reviews have been excellent. Thanks to the library for finally ordering it.

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