Littoralis Press/Amazon CreateSpace, p/b, £9.95 p/b
Published 2015 (2nd edition)
A taxidermist, a mathematician, and a widowed sheep farmer who lost her stock during the 2001 foot-and-mouth crisis in Cumbria -- how could they possibly have anything to do with each other, or with tulip fields and lacy sleeves and floating musical octopuses made of spider-silk?
Littoralis Press, p/b, e-book
When Matt Myers decides to spend the summer with his mother at the Shell House, he little guesses that he is about to step into the minefield of his family’s past and recent history… Anne Church, a young Victorian; Matt, art student; Hazel Myers, his mother; malacologist and parasitologist, Elizabeth Wilson: their stories — of obsessional loves and conflicting beliefs — are inextricably linked with each other and with the life and tragic death of Victorian evangelist Emily Gosse, wife of the naturalist Philip Henry Gosse.
Littoralis Press, e-book, £3.99
Set in north-west Scotland and Oxford, Floating Stones is the story of the obsessive love of two men — visiting geologist Stephen Rhodes and local shepherd Donnie McGregor — for local potter Anna Crowden; it is a story that brings Stephen, and his students Kat and Max, into intimate contact with the wild landscape of northern Sutherland, where they set up their temporary homes in tents and bothies, and that binds Kat, Donnie, Anna and Stephen into an inter-relationship whose complexity only gradually becomes clear; it is also the story of a man’s conflicting desires, for his wife and sons — stability, a safe home and intellectual workplace — and for his lover and the entirely different life that she represents.
(With grateful thanks to Lotte Glob whose own 'floating stones' supplied the inspiration for the story)
Floating Stones is available as an e-book for £3.99 from the Amazon Kindle store
Figure in a Landscape
Headline Review, p/b, £3.00
In her cottage on a remote Scottish island, Harriet Falmer has almost forgotten that solitude is not the normal human state. Conscious of the burden of guilt that drove her here, she lives from day to day, working in her garden, fishing, exploring the hills - herself as much a part of the landscape as the curlews and the deer. Apart from occasional trips to a distant village, her contact with the outside world is limited, and contact with her one-time husband and her lost son take place only in her imagination. Harriet is dismayed when zoologist Jos Allen sets up camp nearby, his purpose a study of seal behaviour patterns. In a rage she tries to sabotage his work, but he won’t easily be dislodged: it is Harriet herself who is forced to move to a bizarre new dwelling when a storm destroys her cottage. Her new haven, and the changes that have come, start a healing process that brings a sense of purpose to Harriet’s life.
Extraordinary impact … we shall hear more of Ann Lingard – Birmingham Post
Simple but powerful story – Chapman
The Fiddler’s Leg
Headline Review, h/b, £5.00
Julian Kersland, a talented but crippled violinist and leader of a baroque ensemble in Glasgow, is the focus of the needs and theories of a diverse range of people. Early on, his school chaplain convinced him that the accident to his leg and the subsequent pain were necessary for the expression of his musical talent. Now, when Julian is in his 30s and wondering where his talent should lead him, both Margaret Gillespie, a solicitor’s wife, and Isobel Hutchinson, a medical student, are intrigued and attracted by his disability and his good looks. Julian, unaware that those around him see the leg rather than the man, is approaching crisis. He is obsessed by Isobel, harried by Margaret and tortured by the trauma associated with his talent. But one evening he tells Tom, a Scottish folk-fiddler, the story of his accident. In confronting the truth, he can begin the journey to acceptance.
Ann Lingard’s powerful new work proved to be my favourite book this year … extremely well written. – Helen Peacocke, Oxford Times.