At Hawthorn Time

At Hawthorn Time

Melissa Harrison

Four-thirty on a May morning: the black fading to blue, dawn gathering somewhere below the treeline in the east. A long, straight road runs between sleeping fields to the little village of Lodeshill, and on it two cars lie wrecked and ravished, violence gathered about them in the silent air. One wheel, upturned, still spins.

Howard and Kitty have recently moved to Lodeshill after a life spent in London; now, their marriage is wordlessly falling apart. Custom car enthusiast Jamie has lived in the village for all of his nineteen years and dreams of leaving it behind, while Jack, a vagrant farm-worker and mystic in flight from a bail hostel, arrives in the village on foot one spring morning, bringing change. All four of them are struggling to find a life in the modern countryside; all are trying to find ways to belong. Building to an extraordinary climax over the course of one spring month, At Hawthorn Time is both a clear-eyed picture of rural Britain, and a heartbreaking exploration of love, land and loss.

Explore the other winners

Winner announced - 9th September

Stay in the loop

Enter your email to be the first to know the latest news from the Women's Prize For Fiction

VOTE

Vote for your favourite #WomensPrize winner

Cast your vote for your favourite #ReadingWomen book and decide who will be our Winner of Winners in our 25th year.

Favourite book Live

  • A Spell of Winter
    4% 140 / 2.8k
  • Fugitive Pieces
    1% 51 / 2.8k
  • Larry's Party
    1% 40 / 2.8k
  • A Crime in the Neighborhood
    0% 23 / 2.8k
  • When I Lived in Modern Times
    0% 24 / 2.8k
  • The Idea of Perfection
    0% 16 / 2.8k
  • Bel Canto
    3% 113 / 2.8k
  • Property
    0% 12 / 2.8k
  • Small Island
    8% 254 / 2.8k
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin
    7% 210 / 2.8k
  • On Beauty
    3% 102 / 2.8k
  • Half of a Yellow Sun
    19% 579 / 2.8k
  • The Road Home
    2% 61 / 2.8k
  • Home
    2% 77 / 2.8k
  • The Lacuna
    2% 74 / 2.8k
  • The Tiger's Wife
    1% 39 / 2.8k
  • The Song of Achilles
    11% 344 / 2.8k
  • May We Be Forgiven
    1% 36 / 2.8k
  • A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing
    2% 76 / 2.8k
  • How to be Both
    4% 121 / 2.8k
  • The Glorious Heresies
    2% 65 / 2.8k
  • The Power
    5% 150 / 2.8k
  • Home Fire
    6% 174 / 2.8k
  • An American Marriage
    5% 166 / 2.8k
Win a set of our 2020 shortlist!

Sign up for the Women's Prize for Fiction newsletter and win a stack of this year's six shortlisted books.

(We will send you occasional emails full of author interviews, extracts and audio, and you can unsubscribe anytime. Please read our privacy policy for more information).