"HERE JOHN TURNER WAS CAST AWAY IN A HEAVY SNOW STORM IN THE NIGHT IN THE YEAR 1755" "THE PRINT OF A WOMAN'S SHOE WAS FOUND BY HIS SIDE IN THE SNOW WHERE HE LAY DEAD" This enigmatic tombstone, high on the bank of a prehistoric Pennine track, has haunted Alan Garner for 50 years. Thursbitch is an exploration of the C18th mystery; a mystery that lives on in the farms of the area. John Turner was a packman. With his train of horses he carried salt and silk travelling distances incomprehensible to his ancient and static community. In the novel he brings ideas as well as gifts that have come, by many short journeys, from market town to market town, from places as distant as the campfires of the Silk Road. John Turner's death in the C18th leaves an emotional charge which, in the C21st, Ian and Sal find affects their relationship, challenging the perceptions they have of themselves and of each other. Alan Garner's second novel for adults is a visionary fable, firmly rooted in a verifiable place. It is an evocation of the lives and the language of all people who are called to the valley of Thursbitch.
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