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The Western Wind
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
Oakham, near Bruton, is a tiny village by a big river without a bridge. When a man is swept away by the river in the early hours of Shrove Saturday, an explanation has to be found. Was it murder, or suicide, or an accident? The whole story is relayed by the village priest, John Reve, who in his role as confessor is privy to a lot of information that others have not. But will he be able to explain what happened to the victim, Tom Newman, the wealthiest, most capable and industrious man in the village? And what will happen if he cant? Reve is an extraordinary creation, a patient shepherd to his wayward flock, and through his words Harvey creates a medieval world that is in no way alien but almost tangible in its immediacy. His language is modern, but steeped in medieval culture and beliefs. This is Samantha Harveys fourth novel. The previous three appeared on countless prize lists, from the Baileys Prize to the Man Booker. The Western Wind will surely join them.
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quote
AnneCecilie
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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The dean was right, today was weighing day, that undignified annual ceremony in which I was put in a boat along with another man to see that I weighed less than him, for a priest‘s substance is, it‘s claimed, midway between man and angel.

(The novel is set in England 1491. Does anyone know if this is true? I doesn‘t quite fit with what I‘ve learned about the church from that era.)

Ruthiella I‘ve not heard of the practice before... 🤔 12mo
45 likes1 comment
quote
AnneCecilie
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Tomorrow was Shrove Tuesday, carnival, carne levare: farewell to the flesh.

(A picture found online of the carnival in Venice)

Trashcanman Farewell to it all 12mo
AnneCecilie @Trashcanman I hope not. I just found the origin of the word interesting since today it seems to be a celebration of life and fancy costumes. 12mo
BiblioLitten For some reason Italy and Venice are reoccurring again and again in my life for the past one month. 🙃 12mo
AnneCecilie @BiblioLitten Amazing places. So I wouldn‘t mind them occurring in my reading 12mo
BiblioLitten @AnneCecilie Maybe it is time for a vacation😅 12mo
50 likes5 comments
review
bookandbedandtea
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Mehso-so

I liked most of this book but after a bit the backwards storytelling grated on me and the genial priest who was our narrator began to seem a little less genial and a little less moral. This still would have been fine but there were too many unanswered questions at the end so I was left unsatisfied.

BarbaraBB An unsatisfying read for me too. 2y
28 likes1 comment
review
Centique
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Pickpick

Difficult to know who I can recommend to read a historical literary mystery about a fifteenth century village cleric which is extremely clever and told backwards. I know! This is one for you @batsy 😂 I really enjoyed this. It‘s very hard to describe, you‘re following Reve John around the village, painstakingly performing his duties and looking after his flock, worrying about the sick ⬇️

Centique and the weak and the man who just drowned and the church supervisor come to investigate and all the jobs he has to do. Including hearing all the confessions. As we hear them we may piece more together ourselves. 🌟🌟🌟🌟 2y
Cinfhen I‘m sold!!!! 2y
batsy Ooh, nice! It's been on my TBR for awhile 😁 Lovely review 💜 2y
See All 16 Comments
Centique @Cinfhen I would not trust ME if I was you. 😂😂 I have a bad record of recommending you books! 2y
Cinfhen Hahaha 🤣 it‘ll go in my #BorrowNotBuy list...just in case 😘😘 2y
Crazeedi I love these kind of books so I'll be checking it out 2y
mklong Definitely sounds like my lane too. Sold! Great review. 2y
LeahBergen I have this sitting on my shelves 👏🏻 2y
andrew61 I really enjoyed it as well. 2y
Centique @Cinfhen very sensible! 😛 2y
Centique @batsy @LeahBergen yes! I think you will like this too Leah. I really felt I was in a 15th century village this week. 2y
Centique @Crazeedi @mklong yay! Hope you guys enjoy it 😘 2y
Centique @andrew61 oh yes, I can see that this would appeal to you too. I get some great historical reccs from you! I‘m very impressed with her writing - have to read more of her work. 2y
Ruthiella This is TOTALLY my kind of book! 😀😀😀 2y
Centique @Ruthiella I should have thought of you as well! 😆 Thank goodness for Litsy - everybody in my real life would raise their eyebrows very high if I described this book to them. Ie are you quite mad Paula? 😂😂 2y
andrew61 @Centique only read this one Paula, ill have to look at her other books . 2y
87 likes3 stack adds16 comments
review
Tamra
Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed the audio version of this novel because the narrator reads it as of he‘s confessing the story to me. He has a very natural conversational tone.

The mystery surrounding the death of a villager unfolds in a nonlinear fashion and the pacing is admittedly slow, but that wasn‘t a problem because the intimacy of the characters kept me interested. It‘s a quiet and contemplative story about guilt and spiritual redemption.

Tamra Beware though it ends abruptly and I want a Part 2! 2y
Moray_Reads I loved this in print. So cleverly constructed! 2y
Tamra @Moray_Reads it really is and the more I think about it and describe it to my husband, the better I like it. I appreciate it when authors respect readers‘ intelligence, because the story doesn‘t unfold backwards perfectly. The present thoughts of the priest are interspersed. I need to get this in print so that I can read the first chapter again! (edited) 2y
54 likes1 stack add3 comments
blurb
Tamra
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Audio baking! Have I mentioned this narrator?! Yes I have - it‘s like he‘s living the character and relaying his thoughts to me in real time.

Breaking in my new pottery with pumpkin bread. Hoping it pops out easily. 🤞🏾

Ncostell That looks delicious. The pottery is beautiful! 2y
Tamra @Ncostell thank you! It came out of the bowl just fine and was tasty. (edited) 2y
Cathythoughts Looks good ! Nice pic ❤️ 2y
LeahBergen That looks lovely. I love pottery! 2y
Texreader Looks amazing!! 2y
83 likes5 comments
blurb
Tamra
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Next audio book - just 30 minutes in and enjoying it. Once again, terrific narrator. They make all the difference.

40 likes1 stack add
review
Minervasbutler
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Pickpick

On the surface a historical crime novel set in a fifteenth century Somerset village with an unusual, backwards running narrative structure which is also a meditation on religion, sin, and personal responsibility. Some readers have pointed out historical inaccuracies but overall I found it both believable and compelling.

Tamra I really want to read this one! 2y
68 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
BarbaraBB
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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#BookReport 17/20

I read these three books (and loved The Glass Hotel) according to plan.
I found my reading mojo again, fortunately. I‘d love to read less though and socialize instead but for now it‘s okay to stay at home. I‘m not bored yet!

Cinfhen That‘s great 😃 glad you got the reading MoJo back 🙏🏼I really liked Glass Hotel too!!!! 3y
Kalalalatja Yay for the return of your reading mojo! 🙌 3y
Megabooks Go mojo!! 3y
70 likes1 stack add3 comments
review
BarbaraBB
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Mehso-so

A slow pacing hysterical mystery, centered around a medieval community of which one member drowns. Was it murder or accident? A dean from a nearby town comes to investigate. The local priest has to take confessions from the people to hear what they know. Interesting, but a bit too slow for my taste.

readordierachel Beautiful cover though! 3y
BarbaraBB @readordierachel That‘s why I bought it 😀, it was sitting there right next to the cashier eyeing me! 3y
84 likes2 comments
review
Anna from Gustine
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Pickpick

This starts as a mystery, changes into a slow character study, and then revs back into a mystery with an unexpected answer to “whodunnit.“ There is a tiny English village in the late 1400s. Their wealthiest landowner drowns. The mystery is whether it was murder or suicide. The book goes backward in time starting on Day 4 after his drowning and ending with Day 1. I almost stopped reading as it was sometimes slow, but I'm glad I hung in there.

7 likes1 stack add
blurb
jenniferw88
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Tanisha_A Ooh, i didn't know The Dressmaker is a book. Have seen the movie, loved it. 3y
Eggs Well done! 3y
79 likes2 comments
review
rwmg
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Bailedbailed

I don't know if it was me or the book but I was spending too much time thinking about what I'd rather be reading

quote
rwmg
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey

They think Annie and I are peculiar for throwing water on the fire each night before sleep, but I tend to think they‘re peculiar for preferring to burn in their beds. Once you‘ve lost your mother to fire, you never feel the same way about going to bed with a flame still live.

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rwmg
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Sapphire
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Starting this today for my December book discussion at Interabang Books in Dallas. The store was demo lished by the Tornado, but the community is rallying and author talks and book clubs are going forward in other spaces.

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LeahBergen
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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It was remarkably difficult to find a book on my shelves with #AutumnLeaves on the cover. 🤔

(This pretty cover shows a detail from an Arras tapestry in The Cluny Museum, Paris).

#ScreamathonPhotoChallenge
#Screamathon

rockpools Pretty cover - SO different from the UK one! 3y
BarbaraBB But you did a good job 😍 3y
alisiakae Good job finding one! 🍁🍂 3y
Reviewsbylola But you found an amazing one! 3y
77 likes4 comments
review
jfount
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Mehso-so

Kind of an inside out and backwards murder mystery, really cleverly written; but I have to say it felt less historical the more I read of it. “So-so” is probably too harsh but this was ultimately a little meh for me.

blurb
Aimeesue
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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I love this cover. Hope the inside is as good as the outside.

Jas16 That is an amazing cover 3y
readordierachel "This generation's Virginia Woolf"! Sounds very promising. 3y
35 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
Well-ReadNeck
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Simona Must read for fans of The Name of the Rose? I have read a few reviews of this book, and for the first time I see this comparison ... stacked! 3y
Lcsmcat Intriguing. Stacked. 3y
73 likes4 stack adds2 comments
review
Jedi_Bruno
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
Panpan

That was a hard one to finish. Anti-climatic ending and not much of a plot. Written in the same style as ‘Drive Your Plow Over a the Bones of the Dead‘, the story is written entirely from the point of view of the narrator‘s internal musings and thoughts, with the main protagonist being the town of Oakham rather than any specific character. I essentially read the same book twice this year, just written by two different authors. Skip this book.

review
BookwormM
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
Pickpick

#Netgalley #TheWesternWind #ARC

Slow paced character driven medieval murder mystery.

Full review here www.thereadersroom.org

22 likes1 stack add
blurb
BookwormM
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey

#netgalley #ARC #thewesternwind up next on the Kindle

review
lampbane
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Pickpick

I honestly don't remember why I requested this from the library, but I decided to give it a shot and ended up really enjoying it! It's a murder mystery set in a medeival village, told from the perspective of the priest. And it's told backwards, starting with the discovery of the body going back to the day the guy died. You would think this limits your possibilities, but in the end it was surprisingly effective and made a lot of thematic sense.

review
andrew61
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Pickpick

An intriguing rd which had me so gripped i had to reread the beginning when i got to the end. Told backwards over 4 days up to shrove Tuesday 1491 priest john reve hears confessions of his parishioners at the behest of an assertive dean to find out if his friend(local landowner) killed himself or was murdered #booked2019 'new to me author' rd it covers faith,history at a crucial pre reformation period, friendship, superstition, religion. A good rd

Tamra Oh jeeze, that sounds good and I can see why you‘d like to go back to the beginning again! 4y
Moray_Reads This was written with such precision and subtlety, an absolutely brilliant novel 4y
See All 6 Comments
andrew61 @Moray_Reads yes I'm still thinking about it today. A brilliantly drawn and conflicted character. 4y
batsy Sounds lovely. I have the ARC and I really should make time for it soon. 4y
47 likes2 stack adds6 comments
blurb
LeahBergen
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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#ALittlePriest

Set in England in 1491, this novel about the death of a local rich man is narrated (going back in time over four days) by the village priest.

#MusicalNewYear

vivastory This is the first I've heard of this one. Sounds intriguing 👍 4y
BiblioLitten I‘m curious! 4y
Hooked_on_books Great cover 4y
See All 12 Comments
LeslieO Love the cover! 4y
Cinfhen Well this looks like a gem!!! Stunning cover and interesting story!!! Thanks for sharing 😍 4y
erzascarletbookgasm Thanks for sharing, never heard of this. Great cover! 4y
TrishB Looks lovely 💕 4y
Kalalalatja What a cover 😍 4y
batsy Oh dear, I believe I have a NetGalley copy still sitting in my Kindle app 😆 The cover is so vivid and lovely! 4y
Magslhalliday I read about this the other day (I am roughly a year behind on Guardian Review issues!). Will be interested in your view of it. 4y
readordierachel Pretty cover! 4y
LeahBergen @batsy @Magslhalliday Well, I‘m behind, too. 😆😆 Let‘s hope I actually read it this year! 4y
112 likes4 stack adds12 comments
review
Well-ReadNeck
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Pickpick

The writing in this novel absolutely blew me away. It is one of those books that I slowly read every word, but the chapters flew by. This story takes place in an English village in 1491. A village man is missing and presumed drowned in the river in what appears to be an accident. But when the regional dean comes to investigate, he wants a villager to be blamed. The story is told backward and the unraveling in this way is very clever.

Tamra Intriguing! 4y
Ruthiella OooI like stories told in reverse like that! 😀 4y
Moray_Reads I loved this one. So subtle and well constructed ❤️ 4y
101 likes8 stack adds3 comments
review
Kat_H
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Bailedbailed

A DNF. It was okay...well written in parts even. The author's descriptive language is beautiful. It just didn't grab my interest and it was a bit of a slog, not sure why. A man is dead, a village falls under suspicion, a priest is under pressure to investigate.... but just too slow for me I guess.

blurb
ephemeralwaltz
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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"15th century Oakham, in Somerset; a tiny village cut off by a big river with no bridge. When a man is swept away by the river in the early hours of Shrove Saturday, an explanation has to be found: accident, suicide or murder? The village priest, John Reve, is privy to many secrets in his role as confessor. But will he be able to unravel what happened to the victim, Thomas Newman, the wealthiest, most capable man in the village?" #TBRtemptation!

59 likes2 stack adds
blurb
Asktheletters
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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The descriptions in this book are an utter delight. Evocative in a way that has me stopping to re-read, without becoming overblown. Another early favourite is, “[clothes made] of a wool that had never managed to look un-sheeply”.

review
PNWBookseller85
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Pickpick

I have a feeling this one will be a Man Booker Prize contender. A novel told in reverse over the course of 4 days. In a poor 15th century village, a man dies and the villagers turn to their priest in turmoil. It‘s a really beautiful examination of human nature. And the descriptions of food made me perpetually hungry. For fans of Wolf Hall! It also reminded me of the Luminaries.

96 likes5 stack adds
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Fridayfilms
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Pickpick

I can‘t recommend this book highly enough.

7 likes2 stack adds
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Fridayfilms
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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#TBS A gift on Mothering Sunday

5 likes1 stack add
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Bookquilter
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Haven‘t been this excited about weekend reading in a while .... but this was in the mail today from the UK #bookmail

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Moray_Reads
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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1. I love my Behemoth (Master and Margarita) print ♥️
2. It was to stop requesting more Netgalley ARCs than I can handle but then I got auto-approved by Random House...
3. Glasses
4. Starry night sky. I have plans to visit the Edinburgh Observatory for one of their winter sessions this year ✨🌌🌠
@MinDea #humpdaypost

Kalalalatja Oooooh, number 4 sounds lovely! 5y
Moray_Reads @Kalalalatja I'm very excited, I've been here nearly six years and I've never been! 5y
vivastory The observatory sounds amazing. I really should look into my local observatory 5y
43 likes3 comments