Nominated by:

Wojewódzka Biblioteka Publiczna im. Marszałka Józefa Piłsudskiego w Łodzi, Poland

Publisher of nominated edition:

Sceptre, UK

The Barrowfields

Phillip Lewis      

A stunning, heart-breaking literary debut with the feel of a big American classic.

Mesmeric in its prose and mythic in its sweep, The Barrowfields is an extraordinary debut about the darker side of devotion, the limits of forgiveness, and the reparative power of shared pasts.

Just before Henry Aster’s birth, his father, a frustrated novelist and lawyer, reluctantly returns to the remote North Carolina mountains in which he was improbably raised and installs his young family in a gothic mansion – nicknamed ‘the vulture house’ – worthy of his hero Edgar Allan Poe. There, Henry grows up under the desk of this fierce and brilliant man. But when a death in the family tips his father toward a fearsome unravelling, what was once a young son’s reverence is poisoned, and Henry flees, not to return until years later when he, too, must go home again.

About the author

Phillip Lewis was born and raised in a small town called West Jefferson in the mountains of North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and later received a law degree from Campbell University. While his law practice is based in downtown Charlotte, much of his work has been in the western part of North Carolina, in the mountains.

Librarian’s comments:

The strength of The Barrowfields lies in emotions. Clean, true, so real that they cannot be coped with. Depicting family problems and consequences of wrong decisions is the greatest potential of this novel. Thoughts, like diseases, can be inherited. Every moment that is not devoted to children will be reflected in their future and every escape based on avoidance of responsibility will force one to return. It is a novel about a struggle with one’s own dreams, lack of acceptance and understanding among people who live according to their own rules and who are convinced that these rules are the only right and existing ones.

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