Fiona Mozley has unleashed a debut novel not to be missed. Her churning, lyrical style unravels the concepts of loyalty, violence, classism, conflict, and what it is to be wild. We see all this through the eyes of 14-year-old Daniel and his insular family, a tight-knit unit composed of his not-to-be-trifled with sister and the rugged, overwhelming presence of his survivalist father. Mozley artfully describes a cultural clash of old-world values at odds with a more modern vacuum of morality as Daniel’s father enters deeper into a web of conflict with a cruel property and business mogul. The intensity of Elmet will keep you rapt through the very end. -Amy— From Winter Gazette 2017
The family thought the little house they had made themselves in Elmet, a corner of Yorkshire, was theirs, that their peaceful, self-sufficient life was safe. Cathy and Daniel roamed the woods freely, occasionally visiting a local woman for some schooling, living outside all conventions. Their father built things and hunted, working with his hands; sometimes he would disappear, forced to do secret, brutal work for money, but to them he was a gentle protector.
Narrated by Daniel after a catastrophic event has occurred, Elmet mesmerizes even as it becomes clear the family's solitary idyll will not last. When a local landowner shows up on their doorstep, their precarious existence is threatened, their innocence lost. Daddy and Cathy, both of them fierce, strong, and unyielding, set out to protect themselves and their neighbors, putting into motion a chain of events that can only end in violence.
As rich, wild, dark, and beautiful as its Yorkshire setting, Elmet is a gripping debut about life on the margins and the power--and limits--of family loyalty.
About the Author
Fiona Mozley was born in Hackney but grew up in York and studied at Cambridge before moving to Buenos Aires for a year -- without speaking any Spanish. After briefly working at a literary agency in London, she moved back to York to complete a PhD in Medieval Studies. She also has a weekend job at the Little Apple Bookshop in York. Elmet is her first novel and has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017.