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
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
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
A remarkable debut. Taut, intelligent and beautifully told
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
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!