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The Borrowed Hills

On sale

11th April 2024

Price: £24.99

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Selected: Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781399812887

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As foot and mouth disease spreads across the hills of Cumbria, emptying the valleys of sheep and filling the skies with smoke, Steve Elliman and William Herne, two neighbouring farmers, join forces to reverse their fortunes by rustling livestock from the south. With the struggles of the land never far away, Steve’s only distraction is his growing fascination with William’s wife, Helen. When their mountain home comes under the sway of a ruthless outsider, it is left to Steve to save himself and what’s left of their farming community, in a savage conflict that threatens an ancient way of life.

A reimagining of the American Western for the fells of northern England, Scott Preston’s thrilling debut tells of men and women battered by circumstance, struggling to make lives for themselves in an unyielding land. Lyrical, cinematic, visceral and steeped in local folklore, The Borrowed Hills is an epic tale of a forgotten Britain.

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Reviews

Rebecca Smith, author of RURAL
Utterly absorbing and original, Scott Preston writes with a poet's heart and a cinematic eye. A painfully truthful account of the foot and mouth outbreak and the effects it had on the farming community, The Borrowed Hills shows the other, darker side to the Cumbrian Fells and to rural life up and down the country
Ian McGuire, author of The North Water
The Borrowed Hills shows us the Lake District from the inside, from the viewpoint of those who struggle to make a living from the land and who, when the bad times come, are driven to extremity and violence in order to survive. It's a startlingly original addition to the literature of northern England
Carys Davies, author of THE MISSION HOUSE
Scott Preston lifts the veil from the picture-postcard beauty of Britain's Cumbrian fells to expose an atmosphere of festering despair in the lives of two farmers who lose everything when their sheep are destroyed by the government in order to contain an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease. When they take desperate measures to rebuild their shattered world, what happens feels tragically inevitable. The Borrowed Hills is a story of anger and violence, devotion, love, and back-breaking hard work, told with dark, dead-pan humour and a rough kind of poetry
M. J. Hyland, author of HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN
A remarkable debut. Taut, intelligent and beautifully told
Joseph Kanon, author of LEAVING BERLIN
You could read this remarkable novel just for its dazzling prose, but there's more: razor sharp dialogue, meshed gear plotting, and above all a powerful evocation of a landscape and a way of life unknown to most of us, until now
Jonathan Whitelaw, author of The Bingo Hall Detectives, Lakeland Book of the Year
An astonishing debut - rarely has a fictionalised Cumbria seemed so vibrant and full of life. Preston weaves a visceral magic with every sentence that will have you completely glued from the get-go. Your new favourite for 2024, I promise!