Akenfield

Akenfield: Portrait of an English VillageAkenfield: Portrait of an English Village by Ronald Blythe

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a beautiful insight into village life. It is full of prose.  The transcribed interviews of the villagers have a quality of simplicity and a stillness that seems to come from a kind of acceptance of life stemming from a connection with the land and its natural cycles.

Blythe’s introductory descriptions of each villager, before the transcribed interviews, are an excellent lesson in character development. He has a way of describing people’s physicality and character that is intricate, visceral and contains a kind of profound and distant love for the people of his Suffolk homeland.

I highly recommend Akenfield as a refreshing antidote to the over-done, urban-centric view and a tender and thoughtful representation of rural life.

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