Midsummer Dreams is a lyrical history of the lives, loves and, in particular, the dreams of several of the inhabitants of the small village of Treddoch Harbour. Treddoch, as it’s referred to locally, is a fictional, atypical, once fishing, now touristy, community situated on Cornwall’s southern coast. Everybody has their dreams, though none more so than the inhabitants of Treddoch. In their case, and this is where they differ from the mainstream, as well as having their own, personal dreams, the residents of Treddoch Harbour also have the one dream, the overarching dream, that singular dream that binds them as a community. This is the dream of having a ‘good Season’. For many of them, who rely on the tourists for their income, their money’s only to be made in the summer, when the tourists are abroad. Winter months can be dire.
The action is set on the one day, Midsummer’s Day, starting at dawn and ending with dusk. The story’s told through the voice of a tour guide as he takes the reader around the village, introducing the characters one by one, starting with the late Butcher and his Wife, now interred in the local cemetery!
“Polperro very much inspired this novel,” admits the author. “I wanted to take people beyond the daytrips they experience in these villages, to really get to know the people and what they strive for – which is a strong summer season that allows them to keep their families buoyant all year. There’s a massive collective spirit among the locals, that outsiders seldom see.”
Continuing, “I’m so thrilled that many people have likened the book to Thomas’ ‘Under Milk Wood’. It’s a story that will capture the hearts of people from all walks of life, with its innocent undertones and deep longing for stability among forces the locals can’t control.”
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This story has a quaint, quirky style which draws the reader into the Treddoch Harbour residents’ world. The reader has an omnipotent view of the village and its inhabitants, even those who are dead, through the information imparted by the tour guide.
Its originality is engaging, and it captures the tourist coastal village’s ethos perfectly. The season’s success is the Treddoch Harbour’s inhabitants’ collective dream and underpins the events on Midsummer Day.
There’s a list of players with chapters corresponding to acts in a play. Insightful character portraits and vivid descriptions make this a treat for all the senses.
I was born a long time ago now and like both Mary Wesley and Sir Christopher Bland have taken to writing rather late in life.
Following graduation from the University of East Anglia (UEA), which has subsequently become something of a literary mecca since my days there, I worked, briefly, as an Economist in London but soon moved to Cornwall, where, together with my wife, I ran my own business for many years. We lived in the small Cornish fishing village of Polperro which has provided a rich source of material for my first novel, Midsummer Dreams, due to be published Spring 2019.
I began work on the novel last January and eight months later had a rough draft ready but feeling the need of a break from it I put the manuscript to one side and thought to write just a couple of short stories. Twelve months and fifteen stories later it became clear that it was time to put this volume, Collected Writings to bed and return to where I left off, one year past, especially as I can already feel a second volume of shorts tugging at my sleeve.
After over forty years in Cornwall I crossed the Tamar and moved back to England (!) a short while ago, although only as far as Devon, where I still maintain a ‘day job’. How much longer this will last though, I’m not sure. Writing can become a seductive and powerful mistress for which one can easily develop an all consuming passion.
With thanks to Michael Terence Publishing www.mtp.agency