In July 1934, Walter Brown went alone to the woodland pond. He saw his girl swimming there. He watched her floating and saw how white her skin was in the green water, her belly, her breasts, her pond-tangled hair. Then she turned over like an otter and dived down. She did not come up again. In July 1969, Sean Matthews finds himself in the very same woodland, where he witnesses an event he later cannot bear to remember. Two boys, growing up in the same village thirty-five years apart, have each seen something they shouldn’t.
Hailed by Salman Rushdie on the publication of her first novel, Pop, Cryers Hill confirms Kitty Aldridge as a writer of immense talent, possessing the rare gift of enabling us to see the world anew.
A beautifully written, profoundly moving, observantly funny, deeply English novel by one of the most talented prose writers I have read in years (read more)
CAROL ANN DUFFY
Cryers Hill is mercurial, deft and wondrous in its sentences and uncanny descriptions. But its cumulative power is not merely the sum of its luminous parts, but rather the result of a moral gasp upon life that is grave, knowing, melancholy, often extremely funny and ultimately optimistic. A considerable achievement by a daring writer who’s come fully into her own.
In this lyrical, tender but troubling portrait of Deep England, Stanley Spencer shakes hands with Mike Leigh (read more)
This is impassioned, ingenious novel-writing at its magnificent best, bursting with beautiful sentences and revealing a mind possessed of an infectious wonder at the nature of things. From the call of the plover to the roar of the engine, everything is made glorious in Aldridge’s elegant hand.
Kitty Aldridge articulates well the depths of feeling that charge the hopes and anxieties of her characters with a poetic intensity. Their carefully observed, spirited portraits form much of the considerable charm of this powerful, slow burning second novel. (read more)
Cryers Hill is a beautiful novel, nostalgic without being melodramatic… both a thumping good read and a cautionary tale about the dangers of educational experiments
Aldridge has huge talent.
Kitty Aldridge’s language captures the casual brutality of childhood like a butterfly in a net. (read more)
Aldridge’s linguistic lightness of touch, combined with her tender creation of the characters makes this a real treat (read more)
THE LONDON PAPER
Two stories ingeniously connect in a novel that rusticates both language and landscape to startling effect (read more)
THE INDEPENDENT (PAPERBACK)
The ingenuity with which the two stories are connected is one of the pleasures of this engaging work; another is the care with which the author conveys a sense of her chosen period with the wartime episodes as sharply drawn as those of the late 1960s. (read more)
Click on the links below to read some of Kitty’s full length interviews: