Thursbitch by Alan Garner was first published in 2003, I just noticed after I had bought it that my book is a signed copy. I’ve read quite a few of Alan Garner’s books over the years, they’re always a bit strange and this one is stranger than usual. To begin with it was just too weird for my taste but I did end up liking it, and it’s a difficult one to describe.
The setting is 18th century northern England – and contemporary. John Turner is a packman, carrying goods all over the country, anything that needs to be taken elsewhere, and sometimes he’s away from his home in very rural Cheshire for quite a long time with his horses and cart. It’s a time when most people hardly strayed from the neighbourhood that they were born in, so John/Jack is quite cosmopolitan compared with the locals.
I was more interested in the 21st century relationship between Ian and Sal though as they traversed the same hills that Jack had travelled through, albeit 200 years or so later.
This was one of my 20 Books of Summer.