An historian by training, Barbara Erskine is the author of three collections of short stories, and eleven bestselling novels that demonstrate her interest in both history and the supernatural. Lady of Hay, her first novel, has now sold over two million copies worldwide. She lives with her family in an ancient manor house near Colchester, and a cottage near Hay-on-Wye. Erskine returns with this beautiful and haunting tale of dark forces and mystical powers.
In present-day Cambridge, Abi, a recently ordained priest of the Church of England, is appointed to a notoriously difficult parish. The priest in charge is the charismatic but fundamentalist Kier. He objects to her mysticism, her practice of healing in particular. When she sees a vision of a congregation in an old church, Kier accuses her of witchcraft, but Abi soon sees more visions; an entire Roman family history dark with betrayal and a promise of bloody revenge.
With foreboding forces all building up to violence, Abi must battle the approaching terror along with her own personal demons, drawing upon the expertise of Druidry and shamanism from a questionable source....
©2010 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
Having read and enjoyed other books by this author I was delighted to find a title that I hadn't seen before and I was not disappointed. The story held me enthralled and I couldn't wait to pick up my ipod and continue listening. I feel quite lost now that it has come to an end but I can thoroughly recommend this audio book.
I have read all Barbara Erskine's long stories, since her first, Lady of Hay, which is one of my all time favourite books. This definitely ranks in her top three. Back to her old style of narrative, quite easy going and relaxing, but a really compelling story (well 2 actually!) I haven't got to the end yet, but am loving listening to this book. Also have to comment on the narrator, I am not normally a fan of female narrators - I don't know why but I just generally find them harder to get used to. Not so with this. A really lovely voice, good subtle voice changes for the different characters and very easy to listen to. A definite 5 star audiobook.
Author of Fecundity!
This book ranks very highly. I have only just started listening to audio books again and have enjoyed this one immensely. Extremely well read and easily defined vocal differences for each character.
As its so long since I listened to any that is hard to answer fairly.
I wouldn't lkie to define just one scene, as each scene added and flowed into the next, past and present, enhancing the overall experience.
As I rarely watch films I'm not the best person to provide a tag line
This book gave just enough annoyances to really make it believeable. Abby, on more than one occassion, acted stupidly enough to irritate, as did the clergy who never stopped Kieran from pestering Abby. But like a good play this story took you into the highs and lows holding your attention along the way. I am glad Barbara Erskine wasn't obvious this time in the present characters being those of the past too, although it did slip into that element right at the end. For those who are religiously inclined I would imagine this book could start a very healthy debate as to it having actually happened. A very sound story and beautifully read. The definition of characters voices was superb. My one grouse though is that too many characters names began with 'K', which I found a little confusing at times
As a first time reader of Barbara Erskine, I was not sure what to expect of this story. It begins as a conventional narrative about a young woman curate and Keir, the obsessive priest she finds herself working with. As mysterious ghostly figures appear, you realise that you are in for a fantasy tale with a historical background. Moving from Cambridge to Glastonbury, the atmosphere becomes increasingly dark and our heroine Abi Rutherforth finds herself involved in the life of a Roman family and the healing powers of the Druids in Glastonbury. As Abi follows their lives she comes to wonder if the student, Yeshua, staying with the Druids could possibly be Jesus. The dual narrative builds in excitement to a thrilling climax. I found myself sorry that I had finished the book and can recommend it to readers who enjoy historical fiction with a dash of the supernatural.
If you can suspend belief then this ghost and time travel story might appeal but personally it was just too far fetched and contrived for me.
Modern day priests and pagans use a powerful crystal ball to watch a parallel story playing out from Roman Britain with ghosts appearing left right and centre!
I have tried to award 5 stars in each category, but this app would not accept it! I have thoroughly enjoyed this offering from Barbara Erskine who never fails to enchant with her storytelling.
The cross over of time and Christianity v Druidism was fascinating.
Anyone who listens/reads this story will be delighted.
Yes it is a compelling read
The whole thing really so intertwined with historical facts and historical beliefs. Loved the mixture of paganism and Christianity and how they really want the same.
The scene where Abi first sees Maura
Did He really come to England
The story goes between modern day and the time of Jesus. It is easy to tell which era you are in and there aren’t any stilted jumps – it flows wonderfully. The narrator has a wonderful way of drawing you into the book and on several occasions I found myself standing totally still waiting tensely to see what was going to happen. She has a way of building tension that is rare and adds much to the book.
I must admit I found the narrator better than the story that has strong religious overtones. It adds an interesting slant on druidism and Christianity. But you have to ask yourself is it a step too far to create a story (even though fictitious) portraying Jesus coming to Glastonbury. And is it really believable that he although not converting readily accepted and study druid and pagan ways? I feel that some may have issues over this and the “in house” dealings of a sexist and stalker priest.
I tried to read Barbara Erskines Lady of Hay many years ago but found myself putting it down a lot and then having to re read bits over and over to pick up the thread again
I found this audio book good: I listened to it all but I was not over keen on the narrator. If I,m honest I prefer men narrating I found like the lady of Hay that it just lacked the suspense I had hoped for and whereas I could listen over and over to The Woman In Black by Susan Hill for me this is not a book I would want to listen to again
This is the first Erskin book I have listened to and I am about to start a second which I hope will be equally as enjoyable. I like Phil Rickman books and this is similar but I enjoyed the two stories running consecutively. It was a book I wanted to listen to until the end and even then I was left wanting more. thus my reason for downloading another book in a similar vein by the same author.
"another ghosty story"
It was all right - I'd recommend better
just got a bit long winded towards the end, especially the present tense [the ghosty bit was better!]
I thought she was a good narrator, making the men and women different and with a variety of English accents
Yes - i still like Barbara Erskine's ideas and especially the way she flipped in and out of times
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