Our Picnics in the Sun
For thirty years Howard and Deborah Morgan poured all their energy and modest resources into Stoneyridge, a smallholding deep in Exmoor. They made uninspired pottery and weaving, struggled to keep chickens and sheep, and tried to live off the land. Now Howard’s debilitating stroke has left Deborah overwhelmed. Singlehanded, she can barely cope with the burden of the remaining livestock as well as look after Howard and run Stoneyridge as a Bed and Breakfast. She continues to hope that their grown-up son Adam, who is fully absorbed in his busy career, will nevertheless find time to make a visit, and she lives for her weekly trips to the library where she can pick up his emails.
One evening two men arrive needing a room for the night – and set off a chain of events that uncovers the relics of old tragedies. Old wounds re-open, betrayals and cruelties intermix with tenderness and love, as the family is drawn into an acknowledgement of a bitter but transformative truth.
‘A psychological dazzler.”
Entertainment Weekly – the ‘MUST’ list
‘Joss’s keen prose … subtly builds tension in this engrossing read. Highly recommended.’
USA Library Journal starred review
‘Told in multiple voices, Joss’ novel is a stunner. It’s crime fiction the way Kate Atkinson is crime fiction.’
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
‘In addition to her uncanny powers of storytelling, Joss can capture a world in the space of a few charged words.’
Maureen Corrigan, NPR Books
‘… strangely compelling … her gutsiest book yet … a pageturner and a search for grace, due to Joss’s artful writing — the psychological depth of her characters, the description of the English countryside and the trust that one has in her… I’m agape at what Joss pulls off here….
… not only transcend[s] genre, just plain transcendent.’
Ed Siegel, NPR The Artery