All Among The Barley by Melissa Harrison was sent to me by Bloomsbury India. It is first for me from this author.
Edith Mather’s story about her native life is what is the main attraction of this book. The writing style is very medieval I would say. And the language is a sure winner for me. The story is set during the times of great war and the poverty stricken life is quite evident from the storytelling skills of the author. The author weaves a beautiful and extremely scenic ambiance throughout the novel. I presumed that it would be nostalgia heavy and it didn’t deceive my presumption.
The novel is written in first person perspective. Edie with much innocence and calm reiterates her story to us. It is a coming-of-the-age tale. I loved how with much ease the author unfurls the life of a teenager one page at a time, capturing the pyschology of the teenage, the discovery of sexual inclination, the conflict between ambition and responsibility.
At one point I felt that the story goes on forever but I wasn’t expecting the subtle twist towards the climax that makes an impact on the minds of a reader. I loved the climax much more. Yes, the novel is a slow read and it takes much patience for the reader to not put it down.
Overall, I love how the novel easily teleports us in a time and age you have never been to. It brings out the settings with panache. ‘Recommend you to read it if you like historic fiction.
Publishers: Bloomsbury India
Available: Amazon, Flipkart, In-store