HILL FARM reads like the Archers written by Tolstoy
- DAILY MAIL
HILL FARM tells the story of what appears to be a perfectly ordinary farming family living in a perfect village in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It feels like a place that will never change. Its fields have been cultivated since medieval times, its farmhouse is crumbling and the same bric-a-brac has been circulating the village jumble sales for decades.
But change does come, that summer. It comes in different guises: a handsome farm-hand, a death-watch beetle, a lavender-scented bosom, a lost hedgerow, a disused water tank. But finally it comes in the shape of an explosive argument in the tractor shed, after which nothing will ever be the same again.
With gentle wit and sharp intelligence, Miranda France takes the rural idyll and shakes it right up. She finds there’s quite another side to the Hill Farm story.
Miranda France is a linguist who worked with street children in Brazil after university, thereafter moving to Buenos Aires where she freelanced for newspapers across a spectrum from the Daily Telegraph to the Guardian. Upon returning to London in 1996, she won the Spectator‘s Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize with an essay that formed the heart of her first book: BAD TIMES IN BUENOS AIRES published by Weidenfeld, which the New York Times described as ‘a remarkable achievement’ whilst The Times noted her ‘Chekhovian ability to make you laugh at tragic stories.’ It was followed two years later by DON QUIXOTE‘S DELUSIONS, a wonderful book about Castilian Spain which the Sunday Times described as ‘stimulating to the point of intoxication.’
Since then, Miranda has been translating for Alma and Bitter Lemon Press and helping Carl Honoré, her husband, bring up their two young children.