The Farm Beneath The Water is the latest novel from Helen Peters. The sequel to the beautifully penned The Secret Hen House Theatre, I couldn’t wait to delve in.
A key feature of Peter’s writing is tied up in the atmospheric setting. The world Peters brings to life is reminiscent of those I found in my own reading years ago. The world in which children went off on adventures, wholesome and energising. Battling against misguided adults, plotting & planning to encourage the truth and fist pumping endings proving children do have a voice …
Step in to the world of The Farm Beneath The Water where Peters has successful reinvigorated that wonderful atmosphere.
Hannah’s farm is under threat. Suited men from the Aqua water company are all over Clayhill Farm with measuring tapes and tree cutting equipment. Their plans to flood the farm to create a reservoir strikes absolute fear into Hannah,
‘she imagined a great creeping tide of water spreading over the farm, obliterating every inch of the landscape until the farm was buried beneath it.’
The farm has been in Hannah’s family for 3 generations, it is the home of the Secret Hen House Theatre, and Hannah’s memories of her mother are enveloped within it. They are tucked into the hedgerows and ingrained in the very walls of her beloved theatre.
Hannah’s passion for her family’s unique home is rivalled only by her passion for all things theatre related. Hannah’s disappointment at losing out to Miranda for a key role in the school play, is soon dissipated when she charged with directing instead. ‘Excitement flooded over Hannah’ at the prospect of opening up the theatre once more.
… and so the two elements become intertwined. Hannah and her resourceful friends are in a race against time. Can they make the residents of Croxton see beyond Aqua’s glossy brochures?
Peter’s novel is populated by a great range of characters … the little Beans, cheeky Jack. I challenge you not to be moved by those touching family scenes, or to be delightfully grimacing at the deftly penned characters of Miranda and Nick Constable.
Peters’ engaging writing, wholesome adventure and a beautiful twisting & turning plot give The Farm Beneath The Water a wonderful energy.