A year ago British author Peter Maughan contacted me through Amazon and asked if I would read one of his novels as he was in need of reviews. I downloaded The Cuckoos of Batch Magna but just couldn't get to it until summer. When I finally read it, I fell in love with Peter's writing. It was easy to give Cuckoos a 5-star review because it is just plain adorable (if a book can be such).
In September, I learned of and purchased another work by Peter which is a much shorter piece, maybe 60 pages if it were in page form. (It's available for Kindle.) This one is entitled Under the Apple Boughs, and I just have to say, if you want to completely immerse yourself in lyrical writing for a couple of hours, if you want to stroll the lanes of rural England in your imagination and view the sights through the eyes of an author who loves where he lives, spend $4.00 and download this narrative.
Peter's work has been characterized as "The Wind in theWillows for grown-ups." Exactly. Except... there is a thoughtful, gracious yet self-effacing intelligence in this writing that is nothing less than literary brilliance.
I began reading Apple Boughs after a particularly grueling week which was rife with heartbreak. Sometimes, as Yeats lamented, 'the world's more full of weeping than we can understand.' Beginning the narrative was like discovering the door to the SecretGarden and walking through to find the garden reclaimed and vibrant with trees and flowers and birdsong. For three nights running, just before sleep, I would disappear behind that gate and wander slowly with Peter through the gardens of his imagination. Our time together ended far too soon, but by the end of it I felt my soul had healed a bit.
If you're looking for a last minute gift for someone with a Kindle who loves the written word--especially if they love pastoral work--it takes only a couple of clicks to gift this book. Heck, just get it for yourself and you can "lend" it to a friend for free later.
Oh, and if you're still in the spirit of giving after you read (and love--I promise) Apple Boughs, take a second and post a sentence or two in review of it so that we can share Peter's love of words with others.
May the spirit of the season abound in love!