Winner of the Staunch Book Prize. “A beautifully written and expertly structured medieval mystery packed with intrigue, drama and shock revelations.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune
An extraordinary new novel by Samantha Harvey—whose books have been nominated for the Man Booker Prize, the Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize), and the Guardian First Book Award—The Western Wind is a riveting story of faith, guilt, and the freedom of confession.
It’s 1491. In the small village of Oakham, its wealthiest and most industrious resident, Tom Newman, is swept away by the river during the early hours of Shrove Saturday. Was it murder, suicide, or an accident? Narrated from the perspective of local priest John Reve—patient shepherd to his wayward flock—a shadowy portrait of the community comes to light through its residents’ tortured revelations. As some of their darkest secrets are revealed, the intrigue of the unexplained death ripples through the congregation. But will Reve, a man with secrets of his own, discover what happened to Newman? And what will happen if he can’t?
Written with timeless eloquence, steeped in the spiritual traditions of the Middle Ages, and brimming with propulsive suspense, The Western Wind finds Samantha Harvey at the pinnacle of her outstanding novelistic power.
“Beautifully rendered, deeply affecting, thoroughly thoughtful and surprisingly prescient . . . a story of a community crowded with shadows and secrets.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Ms. Harvey has summoned this remote world with writing of the highest quality, conjuring its pungencies and peculiarities.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Brings medieval England back to life.” —The Washington Post