4 out of 5 stars
In Water and Sky, Neil Sentance told us about some of the members of his family and the Lincolnshire landscape where they lived and how it shaped his life and theirs. In Ridge and Furrow, he is back to tell us about some more characters.
The first story is about Frank, a gentleman who had been married to Lottie and since she had passed, his life had felt empty and hollow. His memories of the time spent with her lay heavy on his mind and in time they became overwhelming. There are memories of his mother, a teenager when the big freeze hit in the sixties and a big fan of the Westerns, something she passes to Neil.
He writes about Harold who had had many different jobs; bus conductor, an ambulance driver miner, working in a forge but now is a gravedigger. Trying to chip through the frozen ground to lay the winter dead to rest is hard work. Then there is the story of Fred, a giant of a man and tough farmer with a tendency to drink hard at times and his wife Florrie who worked equally hard on their farm
These stories, essays and vignettes to members of his family are full of life’s rich memories, from the happy moments and tragedies that hit every family in each generation. I liked the way that he starts with a relatively recent history and walks us back through the time in the company of his family. He is quite some writer and if there was one flaw it is quite a short book and leaves you wanting more.