One of my favourite books – On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin was first published in 1982 when it won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Whitbread First Novel of the Year Award. The Black Hill is one of the Black Mountains on the border of England and Wales, although fictionalised in this book. It was made into a film in 1988. And today it is released in an e-book edition by Open Road Integrated Media.
It’s a gentle, richly descriptive book of both the landscape and the characters, about lonely lives on a farm, largely untouched by the 20th century. It follows the lives of identical twins, Lewis and Benjamin Jones, a period of over 80 years. They are inseparable, Benjamin in particular suffering whenever they are apart. Their lives are hard, lonely, brutal at times, but full of love for their mother and the land they farm.
I love this book and most of all I love they way Chatwin brought the characters to life, not just Lewis and Benjamin, but all the other personalities, some eccentric, some comic and some tragic. His attention to detail is remarkable ‘“ at no time does it seem excessive, or intrusive but all the little minutiae of daily life are essential to the book. It highlights questions of love, religion, death and above all relationships. It is most definitely not a book to race through to find out what happens, although I did want to know, but one to savour ‘“ and one to re-read.
- File Size: 6409 KB
- Print Length: 236 pages
- Publisher: Open Road Media (October 18, 2016)
- Publication Date: October 18, 2016
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01K6GBLWI
- Source: review copy from the publisher via NetGalley