Fiction ~ recent titles
The Price of Bread, by Crysse Morrison
Frome-based novelist, poet and blogger Crysse Morrison takes us back fifty years to a world far-removed from the Somerset of her previous Hobnob title, the acclaimed Frome Unzipped. In her novel it’s the winter of 1970 and Northern Ireland is smouldering with the unresolved hostilities of its ancient sectarian tribes, with Belfast a hotbed for trouble. In the heart of the city, Lee and her partner and friends ignore sectarian labels, and Lee still trusts in her hippy mantra ‘all you need is love’ – but the streets are increasingly dangerous, especially with two young children and more immediate challenges like how to beat the cold and the rising price of bread. When threats are scrawled on their back wall, and as sandbags and barricades block the streets, ‘love’ is becoming a precious and elusive commodity…
July 2020, 200pp, paperback, £8.95, ISBN 978-906978-85-3.
The Complete Adventures of Henry Chalk, Pedestrian Tourist, by Nick Cowen
The fictional tours of Henry Chalk in 1807-8, told in a series of letters to his uncle in the style of a pedestrian tourist. With danger snapping at his heels our hero stumbles upon the founding fathers of archaeology who are intent on opening every prominent burial mound in the Stonehenge landscape. Love and mystery entwine the young walker like an ever-tightening creeper as he explores the sunken lanes and glaring chalklands. And as the young hero puts pen to paper to record his adventures, his own story unfolds, whilst a shocking denouement awaits. First published by Hobnob between 2005 and 2013 in three parts, the trilogy is now brought together in a single volume, with additional drawings by the author and biographies and explanations of the real characters encountered by our hero.
July 2020, 512pp, line drawings, £14.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-89-1.
The Thegn’s Creed, by Sue Boddington
Sue’s second historical novel. It tells the story of two brothers, thegns from the Saxon aristocracy, struggling to come to terms with the upheaval of their world and maintain their status as freemen on their ancestral land. Their fortunes are played out against a backdrop of 11th Century Wiltshire village life and the seasonal round of agricultural toil in an England still full of tension between Saxon and Norman.
July 2020, 284pp, paperback, £8.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-88-4.
Dissenters: Conscience and Corruption in 17th-century Frome, a novel by Liz Hutchinson
In the 1660s English society experiences religious, social and industrial upheavals. Throughout the land, thousands of Puritan clergy are expelled from their churches and homes, dissenting congregations suffer repression by the magistrates and meet illegally. In Frome, Somerset, a family is impoverished and drawn into a smuggling gang. The changing times offer new opportunities – some less reputable than others – and violence is often the first response to those who enforce the law. The town’s flourishing woollen industry allows some to build fortunes, especially the more unscrupulous developers. But for others, the threat of poverty, starvation or the gallows is always present . . .
May 2020, 274pp, paperback, £10.95, ISBN 978-906978-83-9.
This Way Not That Way, by Nick Cowen
Further adventures in the hilarious Trust Harrison series. A strange interdependence has been forged between local authority lifer, Victor Wayland, public rights of way officer, and the enigmatic Harrison, a young and streetwise volunteer. Harrison and his gang have torn up the volunteer’s rule book and are finding their own ways and means 2019to sort out the thornier issues of public rights of way maintenance. Meanwhile Victor is really starting to feel part of something . . . he’s just not sure what that something is . . . and can a sedentary population really be persuaded to heave themselves up from the sofa and take their first steps towards walking back to happiness? They will if Harrison has got anything to do with it. September 2019, 271pp, paperback, £7.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-75-4.