Ruth's husband of less than a year, Ben, has been killed by a tree falling on him. This book charts the progress of her grief, and the utterly individual griefs of his father, mother, sister and brother, and how his death affects the tight knit farming community. It charts the progress of the rural year, it details rural poverty, and it is suffused throughout by spirituality and the rituals of the church.
It is desperately sad.
It is brilliant. It is harrowing. I found my eyes leaking tears at moments unbearably, poignantly mundane. This is bereavement vividly and remorselessly chronicled.