Field by the River
Ken Burnett. Anova Books.
Published 2008. £12.99 hardback, £7.99 softback, plus P&P.
Hardback and paperback, 445 pages. ISBN 978-1-906032-32-8.
’I have a sneaking suspicion this could take off in a Year in Provence kind of way.‘
Tiffany Daneff, The Sunday Times.
’Closely observed nature... a cross between Peter Mayle and Gilbert White.‘
Paul Henderson, The Bookseller.
‘Ken’s delicious storytelling makes Kerkelven come alive as he surprises, entertains and enchants us... It has inspired me to take better note of the living riches that surround us.’
Indra Sinha, author of Animal’s People, short-listed for the 2007 Man Booker prize.
Following a chance encounter with a kingfisher whilst walking his dogs in the overgrown field adjoining his Breton home, Ken Burnett is struck by the realisation that despite having lived in a quaint French hamlet for the past thirteen years, encircled by farmland, he knows next to nothing about his surroundings. He resolves to examine nature’s little wonders rather more closely, with surprising and delightfully funny results.
Accompanied by his three trusty dogs, and aided by wife Marie and a full complement of endearingly eccentric neighbours, Ken conducts a twelve-month observation of his field, which is, upon further inspection, rich with wonder. From foxes to wild flowers, magical mushrooms to mothering moorhens, Ken discovers that his unassuming patch of land is as bursting with life as any major city.
The Field By The River is a thought-provoking and enchanting work; a joyous, charming celebration of the fragile, interconnected ecosystem that can be found if we only take the time to part the leaves, look under the mosses or overturn a stone.
‘The Field is a great read... a bit like floating downriver on a lilo – highly recommended.’
‘The secret of great writing is to make you very interested in a subject that you don't care about that much at all. So do yourself a favour, treat yourself to this book. And you'll be amazed by the things that you notice in the future, all around you.’
Harvey McKinnon, author of The Power of Giving, writing on Amazon.co.uk.
‘Beautifully observed and charmingly written, his book is a homage to nature, wildlife and the true wonders of the great outdoors.’
Destination France magazine.
‘A simple walk in the woods becomes a year-long adventure packed with mysteries, insights and wonder, often all on the same page. Ken's 'Field' will make you happy and, possibly, consider investing in rugged new footwear.’
Emma Thompson, Oscar-winning actress and screenwriter.
More reviews here and here, plus sample pages.
Sadly The Field by the River is now out of print. But you can still get it on Amazon Kindle here.