Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Covenant: The Life and Death of a Righteous Woman by Thorne Moore.
About the Author
Thorne Moore was born in Luton but has lived in north Pembrokeshire for over 30 years. She has degrees in History and Law, worked in a library and ran a family restaurant. She divides her time between running a miniature furniture craft business and writing psychological crime mysteries.
About the book
The Owens are tied to this Pembrokeshire land – no-one will part them from it dead or alive. Leah is tied to home and hearth by debts of love and duty – duty to her father, turned religious zealot after the tragic death of his eldest son, Tom; love for her wastrel younger brother Frank’s two motherless children. One of them will escape, the other will be doomed to follow in their grandfather’s footsteps.
At the close of the 19th century, Cwmderwen’s twenty-four acres, one rood and eight perches are hard won, the holding run down over the years by debt and poor harvest. But they are all the Owens have and their rent is always paid on time. With Tom’s death a crack is opened up and into this chink in the fabric of the family step Jacob John and his wayward son Eli, always on the lookout for an opportunity.
Saving her family, good and bad, saving Cwmderwen, will change Leah forever and steal her dreams, perhaps even her life…
What begins as the story of a family bound by love, blood, loyalty and religion soon takes on a more sinister turn when the demands of religion and faith result in the death of a young boy. It destroys the family from within, bit by bit. The father punishes others for his own transgressions, which in turn determines the path of his wife and children. Hate begets hate, violence begets a soul searching for peace in the bottom of a barrel.
This is the prequel to A Time for Silence, both can absolutely be read as standalone novels and to be completely frank I can’t decide which one I would suggest reading first. Probably A Time for Silence though, because it sets the scene in a way, whereas The Covenant delivers it’s own very specific brand of historically relevant evil or evil as it is perceived and interpreted through the words of the Lord. I find it’s usually more a case of the interpretation suiting the needs of the person using it as a tool to rationalise, soothe or punish.
I have to say I am not one for religion, but this has to be read in the context of the era, culture and community. How religion, the word of God drives each action of Tada, regardless of how detrimental it is to his children and wife. Each member of the community uses it to judge everyone else, which is of course the bane of our existence – the misuse of religion, an institution devised by men to control others.
This is actually a really compelling dark family saga with elements of mystery and crime. Historical fiction, and yet also a compelling story of family loyalty and a choice between living the life others expect you to or the life you strive to at least work towards.
Moore has a very specific style and voice, the scripture never overpowers the characters or story. Instead it serves to explain the drive, the decisions and enhance the characters.
About Honno Press
‘Honno Welsh Women’s Press was set up in 1986 by a group of women who felt strongly that women in Wales needed wider opportunities to see their writing in print and to become involved in the publishing process. Our aim is to develop the writing talents of women in Wales, give them new and exciting opportunities to see their work published and often to give them their first ‘break’ as a writer. Honno is registered as a community co-operative. Any profit that Honno makes is invested in the publishing programme. Women from Wales and around the world have expressed their support for Honno. Each supporter has a vote at the Annual General meeting. for more information and to buy our publications, visit our website: www.honno.co.uk‘