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Harvest Reviews

Harvest by Georgina Harding

Harvest

Georgina Harding

3.67 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication date: 18 Mar 2021
ISBN: 9781526625069

So fresh and free she looked, in the yellow dress. Sunlight to blaze away the shadows. A farm in Norfolk in the 1970s.

4 stars out of 5
Lucy Scholes
8 Apr 2021

"In the third of a cycle of novels on witness and memory, the author examines the trauma of what her characters have seen — and not seen"

it is also possible to read Harvest as a standalone work, especially because Harding opens the overarching story by means of a previously unexplored viewpoint — that of the steadfast, stay-at-home Richard, who has been left to shoulder different burdens. As Hussey implies, there is the finest of lines between seeing action and seeing the consequences of war and, more often than not, “none of it is quite what one thinks”. Harvest is a work of delicate, devastating beauty, proof that Harding is a writer of rare insight who deserves to be read more widely.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
21 Mar 2021

"Whether you find this slow-burn tale graceful or just glacial may depend on your patience; but stay the course and the payoff is devastating."

Jonny is a photographer whose Japanese lover, Kumiko, comes to stay at his mother and brother’s Norfolk farm.

In outline, that’s it — yet as Harding moves fluently between each character, she deals with widowhood, sibling rivalry and the legacy of war, as the unfinished business of a long-ago family tragedy is finally unearthed.

Whether you find this slow-burn tale graceful or just glacial may depend on your patience; but stay the course and the payoff is devastating.

3 stars out of 5
Clare Clark
17 Mar 2021

"The third in Harding’s cycle of novels about the Ashe family brings wisdom and compassion to a tale set against the bleak, beautiful Norfolk landscape"

Harding writes with spare precision, her deceptively simple sentences heavy with the weight of the words that are not there. Like Jonathan, she has a photographer’s eye, alert always to the movement of light and shade, framing her scenes so that they show far more than they tell. Late in the novel Kumiko observes to Jonathan that it is his job to watch. “You look,” she says. “You see, and you show us things about the world we live in that we don’t know we’ve seen.” So does Harding. Her Norfolk landscape is both beautiful and bleak, a land that can be cultivated, even with roses, but which can never fully be controlled.