The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey

Into the Wild

The Western Wind Read Online Free - 15th century Oakham, in Somerset; a tiny village cut off by a big river with no bridge. When a man is swept away by the river in the early hours of Shrove Saturday, an explanation has to be found: accident, suicide or murder? The village priest, John Reve, is privy to many secrets in his role as confessor. But will he be able to unravel what happened to the victim, Thomas Newman, the wealthiest, most capable and industrious man in the village? And what will happen if he can’t?

Moving back in time towards the moment of Thomas Newman’s death, the story is related by Reve – an extraordinary creation, a patient shepherd to his wayward flock, and a man with secrets of his own to keep. Through his eyes, and his indelible voice, Harvey creates a medieval world entirely tangible in its immediacy.

Title : The Western Wind
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1787330591
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 304 pages


Katie rated it ★★★★☆

April 09, 2018

Maybe 4.5 stars. I really enjoyed this one - a brilliant historical fiction with a really interesting structure (it works backwards in time). The explorations of morality and religion were very well done, as are each of the characters. I would highly recommend.

Roman Clodia rated it ★★★★☆

January 04, 2018

A quiet, serious story set in 1491, the year Henry VIII was born, of conscience, guilt, desire, and the struggles between religion and superstition, the body and flesh. Harvey sets her tale in the run-up to Lent, and tells it through the voice of a village priest and confessor, privy to the secre...

Issicratea rated it ★★☆☆☆

April 15, 2018

This was my first look at the novelist whom Gaby Wood (the Booker Prize Foundation’s literary director) somewhat rashly labeled “this generation’s Virginia Woolf.” I wasn’t particularly convinced, although Samantha Harvey’s writing is certainly well crafted stylistically—as one might hope from so...

Always Pink rated it ★★☆☆☆

March 30, 2018

I did not like what the autor made me do: Read a story backwards, haltingly, with quite a bit of effort, trying to keep people and stories apart. Trying to make sense of what happened, trying to figure out a plot that was not unfolding itself before my eyes, but had to be searched and dug for lik...

Colin rated it ★★★☆☆

March 15, 2018

The Western Wind has been widely praised in the British press reviews and I took the Kindle download. This is a crime novel but with a strong philosophical element and it starts off the wrong way round commencing on day four and working backwards to the disappearance of Thomas Newman, local lando...

Eleanor rated it ★★★★☆

February 24, 2018

I read this just after Elizabeth Goudge's novel Towers in the Mist, which provided an interesting exercise in comparison: The Western Wind is set a hundred and fifty years before Towers in the Mist, and the boisterous wonder of the Renaissance has not yet settled on England. Nor are we in such an...

Margaret rated it ★★★★★

March 07, 2018

4.5 stars rounded up to 5 The Western Wind really is an extraordinary book. I was drawn into the story right from the start. Samantha Harvey’s writing brings to life the sights, smells and sounds of the daily life of the ordinary people living in Oakham, a small village in Somerset in 1491. So oft...

Johanne rated it ★★★★★

April 07, 2018

Oh I really liked this. It is not a historical whodunit but a voyage in to a late medieval world. It is beautifully written and whilst not aping 16th c writing manages to feel authentic. Although it hinges around the death of one of the villagers the book really is about John Reve and his relatio...

Sue rated it ★★★★☆

April 22, 2018

Father John Reve is a good priest, a conscientious and caring man keen to do his best for the village of Oakham and its people. He faces an impossible dilemma in the aftermath of the drowning of the village’s most prominent landowner and the arrival of his church superior to investigate what happ...

Mandy rated it ★★★☆☆

March 31, 2018

I found this medieval murder mystery a bit hard to get into, but once I did I become absorbed and found it a compelling and thought-provoking read. Atmospheric, masterfully evocative of life in a small village in 1491, just pre-Reformation, and with a new-fangled “confessional” recently brought i...

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