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(Tinder Press: 2023) by Kate Worsley

Notes on Kate Worsley’s Foxash from Jonesy’s reading journal. You will know Jonesy from Dial Lane bookshop. She often runs the pop-up book table at our SBL author events.

This is the story of a couple hopeful of new beginnings during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Following pit closures in Yorkshire, Lettie and Tommy Radley relocate to a smallholding in rural Essex as part of the Land Settlement Association Scheme. I'm unaware of the exact whereabouts near Manningtree. The setting may, however, be based on the village of Newbourne which has changed very little from that time to this. Kate Worsley paints such a vivid picture.

Her writing is a dark and sinister telling of this couple’s story. I loved the writing, almost part novel, part almanac. It gave a great sense of place, of time, of seasons. It filled my senses ... I could smell the soil between the pages, hear the birdsong and almost feel the back-breaking work --although I don't think I'll ever look at lettuce the same way again!

Kate Worsley will be talking about Foxash to the Suffolk Book League at an event on Thursday 7th March 2024.


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