David Almond and Levi Pinfold
Based on a true story, award-winning author Almond tells in lyrical style a tale of loss and hope, music and memories, memorial and mystery, water and wonder.
One morning early, a father wakes his daughter instructing her to “Bring your fiddle,”. Then together they walk into the valley, an abandoned valley in Northumberland that is soon to be flooded once the Kielder Dam construction is complete.
Now the buildings lie empty, their inhabitants re-housed. The father pulls down the door of a deserted cottage, bidding his daughter to enter.
“Play, Kathryn, play,” he instructs. “Dance, Daddy, dance.” comes her response and so they do.
First there, and then at every other one of the deserted dwellings, filling each one with music as Kathryn plays ‘for all that are gone and for all that are still to come…”
It’s heard by the birds, the beasts, the earth, the trees and the ghosts.
As darkness descends the two walk away leaving behind them drowning beauty, water echoing deep in the dam and drifting forth, rising and echoing too in the waves, leaves and grass they tread upon;
in their memories; in their dreams and right through them in all their internal dams, making them play, making them sing, making them dance, and so it will always be.
Totally riveting, this powerful book is a thing of beauty, elegance, awe and reverence as the author and artist pay homage to a deeply loved landscape: Almond with his spare poetical telling, Pinfold with his majestic windswept spreads, brooding vignettes, and musical, mystical skyscapes.
A treasure of a book.