Friday, 6 May 2011

Haweswater by Sarah Hall

During the time between the two world wars, a small village in the English Lake District is threatened with destruction to make way for a dam to provide water for the industrial city of Manchester. This novel explores how this threat affects the individuals and community of the village, focussing specifically on the Lightburn family. Janet Lightburn is a young woman with a determined mind and passionate nature, who is fiercely committed to securing a future for the village. She negotiates a longer time period for the villagers to evacuate, enabling them greater opportunity to find alternative jobs and housing, she also secures funding to rebuild the village school. She has reckoned without falling in love with Jack Liggett, who has been sent from manchester to oversee the building of the dam. Their fiery love story is at the centre of this novel, which is written with a wonderful eye for detail, characters and the landscape are all described beautifully. The central story around how the village copes with the dam has a lot of resonances for communities across the world today who are threatened with inappropriate developments that potentially damage the environment and people who depend on it.

Haweswater by Sarah Hall, published by Faber

4 comments:

Reader Wil said...

I remember the dam in Wales and the inundation of one of the Welsh towns. How sad it was for the population who had to leave their town where many generations had grown up . I can imagine what this book is about. Thanks for the introduction!

Carver said...

That sounds like a very interesting book.

gabriellebryden said...

That would be so sad and mindblowing to have your village disappear under water!

Annie said...

This sounds so interesting. Makes me think of a similar project that we are debating right now in California. Lots of history will be underwater and unlike the treasures of the Aswan Dam, ours won't be moved.