In a remote dale in a northern English county, a centuries-old rural community has survived into the mid-1930s almost unchanged. But then Jack Liggett drives in from the city, the spokesman for a Manchester waterworks company with designs on the landscape for a vast new reservoir.
It is 1936 in a remote dale in the old, northern county of Westmorland. For centuries the rural community has remained the same, the Lightburn family have been immersed in the harsh hill-farming tradition. Then a man from the city of Manchester arrives, spokesman for a vast industrial project that will devastate both the landscape and the local community. Mardale will be flooded to create a new reservoir, supplying water to the Midland cities. In the coming year this corner of Lakeland will be evacuated and transformed. Jack Liggett, the Waterworks' representative, further compounds the problems faced by the village as he begins a troubled affair with Janet Lightburn. A woman of force and strength of mind, her natural orthodoxy deeply influences him. Finally, in tragic circumstances, a remarkable, desperate act on Janet's part attempts to restore the valley to its former state. Told in luminous prose with an intuitive sense for period and place, Haweswater remembers a rural England that has been disappearing for decades, and introduces a young storyteller of great imaginative and emotional power. 'First impression: here is a new writer of show-stopping genius; everyone should buy this novel ...I stand by my original impressions. Go forth and buy; prepare to weep.' Guardian World rights for Haweswater are controlled by Faber. Polish rights have been sold to Wydawnictwo Literackie.