A really strong story here from Stuart, whose work I always enjoy.
My review -
This story is set in eighteenth century Kent and is peopled with a wonderful set of characters both good and bad, including a tired, wise mule called Oaken. We meet Edward at the age of ten when he and his sister run away from a drunken father. The story is very much what fans of Stuart Ayris will expect. It's lyrical, whimsical, humorous and deep. You can't keep Mr Ayris down and he occasionally speaks in asides to the reader, in effect. We roll on through this story fearing an inevitability but with all good stories there's more there than is immediately apparent.
I enjoyed reading this, watching the development of the story and the unfolding of the characters. I don't know if any of this story is based on truth but the author always manages to sift his own truth from the lives of those he writes about. Highly recommended and possibly the author's best yet.