'The Dawning' follows the fortunes (and misfortunes) of one family during the course of a New Year's Eve in the Peak District. From the POV of some outsiders, the new Deputy Head, with his wife and children, settled in an attractive old house in a picture postcard setting, appear to be comfortable and content, even smugly so.
The separate internal worlds of mother, father, son and daughter are beautifully described and each one is convincing. This reader certainly could relate to them all, even as the tale reached 'East Enders' heights in its melodrama.
This is not the place to spill the beans on the plot's resolution. A story that encompasses post natal depression, schoolboy bullying, adolescent insecurity and a career crisis, in barely 200 swiftly moving pages, cannot be too highly recommended.