2008 2009 Other Prizes Recommended books

Blackmoor – Edward Hogan

Winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize 2009

Blackmoor is a small mining village in Derbyshire, England. The book is set during the 1990s, a time of fast decline for the mining industry, which eventually ends in the closure of the pit. The tight-nit community struggle to deal with the loss of employment, but have the added problem of methane building up beneath their homes.

Vincent is a teenager growing up surrounded by these problems, but the mystery of his past is a more pressing concern for him. Why did his mother die? Why is his father so distant from him?

The book flicks backwards and forwards, slowly revealing his mother’s secrets and snippets of Vincent’s confused life.

Vincent’s mother, Beth, is an amazing character. She is an albino, suffers from post-natal depression and is the source of much gossip within the village. The depiction of her strange behaviour was always respectful and gave a great insight into the mind of someone suffering from this type of depression.

Vincent was also amazingly well drawn. The confusion and innocence of a teenager’s mind was perfectly captured.

This is a really good book. The writing is simple, but it grabs your attention from the start. It is packed with twists and turns and had a very satisfying ending.

If you’d like to find out more about a very different side to English life then this is a great choice – it’s a really good first novel, and I will be looking out for more books from this author in the future.



7 replies on “Blackmoor – Edward Hogan”

Didn’t Simon review this one recently as well? It looked like a great read, and has raised itself even higher in my mind knowing it passed muster with you! I’m marking it down. I could read nothing but Jackie favorites and never run out!

I think you’d run out quite quickly – my favourites are quite a rare and special thing!! LOL!!

Yes, Simon reviewed this, although I think it was a few months ago now.

I admit that it doesn’t sound that appealing – especially to someone who doesn’t know Debyshire, but I can tell you that it is much better than it sounds. This is a really good book.

I was pleased that it won the Desmond Elliott too. It was the best of the ones I read and I thought it might have a chance on the Booker list this year.

I’ll be looking out for all his books in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *