Father and Son, Landyn and Vale Midwinter, are Suffolk farmers, living together on land their family has worked for generations. But they are haunted there by a past they have long refused to confront: the death of Cecelia, beloved wife and mother, when Vale was just a child. Both men have carried her loss, unspoken. Until now.
With the onset of a mauling winter, something between them snaps.
While Vale makes increasingly desperate decisions, Landyn retreats, finding solace in the land, his animals - and a vixen who haunts the farm and seems to bring with her both comfort and protection.
Midwinter is a beautifully written sensitive debut by Fiona Melrose. At the heart of the storyline is a deep raw grief that has divided father and son Landyn and Vale. After the tragic death of Cecelia the pair are both dealing with grief in their own way whilst Vale is like a boiling kettle waiting to bubble over, Landyn puts his heart into his pup and the mysterious vixen that arrives on the farm.
My heart went out to both of the men as there emotions could be felt through the pages but I found Landyn touched my heart more so as not only was he struggling with the death of his wife he also has to watch his son hurting with his own grief and yet he was so powerless to help him as he seemed to make everything worse so he was dancing around warily on eggshells.
The storyline is told from both Vale and Landyn's points of view so we hear how they are both feeling not only about themselves but how they feel about each other too. The storyline also moves back and forth in time revealing the events of Cecelia's death and this gave way to some understanding on how Vale felt and the reason why.
Although the opening chapter was tense and eventful the remainder of the book is a very gentle read that flows at a delicate pace full of grief,depression, forgiveness, hope and friendship. The vixens appearance also brought a mysterious sense of calm to the storyline and Landyn found such comfort in her too.
I was desperate for Landyn and Vale to break down the big divide between them so they could comfort each other and with every chapter my hope began to fade as Vale was in a very dark place and didn't seem to know how to get out again.
This was a poignant debut and I can not wait to see what else this author has in store for us as her writing is just so enchanting.