The Brittle Star
An epic story of the American West
By Davina Langdale
An epic debut novel telling the story of a young man's unquenchable spirit, perfect for fans of Cormac McCarthy and True Grit.
A DAILY MAIL STARS BOOK OF THE YEAR
A FOYLES BEST BOOK OF 2017
'Langdale is excellent . . . The Brittle Star is a great beginning to what I hope is a long and productive career' Guardian
If a man beats you, you never let your anger show, never at the time. You wait, until he least expects it, until nobody remembers that you were angry at all . . .
In 1860s Southern California, life on the Burn ranch has been peaceful for 15-year-old John Evert since the death of his father. But recently there have been violent raids on nearby properties, where it's not just cattle and horses that are taken, but women too. And when the white-painted men arrive at the Burn ranch on horses in the dead of night, John Evert is near-fatally injured, his beloved mother spirited away, and their house torched to the ground.
Setting out on a journey to find his mother and reclaim his land, John Evert will fight in the Civil War and befriend an outlaw, challenge his assumptions and fall in love, before returning to fledgling Los Angeles older, sager and set on revenge . . .
'Fans of Annie Proulx, or Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy will love her eloquent descriptions of California's rural terrain' Henry Deedes, Daily Mail
'This book artfully blends careful research with beautiful writing. This young British writer is clearly incredibly talented and versatile, and I hope this will be the first book in a long and fruitful career' Historical Novel Society
Davina Langdale studied Zoology at Bristol University, and worked with 93 chimpanzees and a hippo in Northern Zambia. She returned to the UK to take a postgraduate diploma in journalism at the London College of Printing, and after a brief stint in that field she realised that fiction was her true love. The Brittle Star is her first novel.
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- Publication date:
09 Feb 2017
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Totally brilliant — Dan Snow
Langdale is excellent at delineating landscapes both natural and human . . . She puts it on the page with such detail and self-confidence that I believe every word — Jane Smiley, Guardian
Pacy, thrilling, well-plotted . . . an extraordinary debut novel — Andrew Roberts, author of A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900