Chasing memories of the losses of his brother and father, the author, a young newspaper director, and his Australian wife visit the Cotswolds. On a whim they buy a cottage and Ian resigns. They slowly get to know Norman, their inscrutable and apparently terrifying neighbour; Geoff, the ebullient landlord of their eclectic local - last bastion against the encroaching gastropub - and Tom, an ex-gamekeeper, who lets Ian see something of a hidden rural culture. The delightful aspects of village life and an ever-changing landscape is evocatively captured; but it is from working with Norman on his small chaotic farm that they learn about the loss of the countryside to industrial farming and of no-longer affordable housing to the dreaded 'white settlers'. And it is shadows of the past and a seemingly segregated social world around them that begin to cast doubts on whether this is the place for them. This is a gentle lesson in taking time to confront our losses, memories and prejudices to discover a revitalised life in our own country.
Ian Walthew was born in England and has lived in France since 2005. After completing a post-graduate degree in international relations from the University of Amsterdam, Ian worked in the newspaper industry in Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris, working for the Dutch financial daily Het Financieele Dagblad and the International Herald Tribune. In 2000 he returned to England after 10 years abroad, ended his newspaper career and unexpectedly moved to the Cotswolds. His critically acclaimed book A PLACE IN MY COUNTRY, about his return to England and his time in the Cotswolds, was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 2007. A new Kindle edition of A PLACE IN MY COUNTRY was published by Bagshawe Books in January 2015. His novel, THE COMPLEX CHEMISTRY OF LOSS, was published by Bagshawe Books in December 2014 and is available as a limited edition hard copy (from www.bagshawe.co.uk/books) or as an e-book for Kindle.
For more information or to contact him directly, please visit www.ianwalthew.com