It was meant to be paradise…
Winterfall Farm, spectacular and remote, stands over Bodmin Moor. Wanting an escape from the constraints of conventional life, Kit and Tara move to the isolated smallholding with their daughter, Skye, and a group of friends. Living off-grid and working the land, they soon begin to enjoy the fruits of their labour amid the breathtaking beauty and freedom of the moor.
At first this new way of life seems too good to be true, but when their charismatic leader, Jeremy, returns from a mysterious trip to the city with Dani, a young runaway, fractures begin to appear. As winter approaches, and with it cold weather and dark nights, Jeremy’s behaviour becomes increasingly erratic. Rules are imposed, the outside world is shunned, and when he brings a second girl back to the farm, tensions quickly reach breaking point with devastating consequences…
My thoughts: living in utopian style collectives and off grid appeals to a lot of people and you can see why, except for the thing everyone always forgets – other people. We all love a hierarchy deep down and crave a leader, and in this case Jeremy becomes increasingly unhinged and aggressive as he tries to assert control. He’s clearly not well but has decided doctors and medicine are evil and living off the land with his new friends is best.
But things are far from perfect as the weather turns, people get sick and arguments break out. I liked the differing viewpoints and how Dani and Tara interacted, although like Tara I was a bit concerned about a 14 year old girl being there without any parents.
The ending was rather sweet, things seemed to work out for most of the characters after the horrifying events on the farm at the height of the book. But I won’t be giving up heating and hot water any time soon.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.