It’s a pleasure to welcome author Jenny Loudon to the blog today with a great guest post about how landscape is so important in both her novels Finding Verity and Snow Angels. You’ll find buying links and info about each book at the bottom of the page. I have both books on my Kindle and plan to share my reviews in the new year.
Winter is wearing a white ball gown
If you read that winter is wearing a white ball gown, you immediately understand that it has snowed and the landscape is white and sparkling and beautiful. If, however, you read that the ground is covered in a suffocating blanket of white which is obliterating all landmarks, is treacherous to the sheep still out in the fields, and has rendered the road impassable for the shepherd, winter becomes a threat and a source of trouble and danger. In both cases, it is as if winter has her own character in the story, and showing her in a particular light helps us to understand a bit more about what our heroine (or hero) is facing at the time.
I live in a cottage on the side of a hill where the sky is huge and the wood-topped valley stretches as far as the eye can see, in either direction. Beneath the swathe of woodlands, are fields where deer, sheep and horses graze, and in the bottom of the valley is a road where motorbikes race, lorries rattle by and cars sound oddly like the constant roar of the sea. On the sad evenings, sirens wail, and the inky sky is lit by rotating blue lights, and the road falls silent. You always know something bad has happened when the road goes quiet.
I tell you all this to show why landscape is so important in my writing. In FINDING VERITY, the fate of the main characters takes a turn while they are trapped in an isolated house in Les Massif des Maures, in the South of France, during a violent storm. It is hard to tell whether the devastating wind and earth-shifting torrents of rain are a danger or whether, ultimately, nature helps Verity and Edward by pushing them together and giving them the time and space to speak their true feelings.
In SNOW ANGELS, Lake Båven and the surrounding stretches of wild Swedish forest challenge Amelie and make the practicalities of her life difficult and a chore, and they also reflect her frozen emotional state back to her. Over time though, the trees and the ice and snow also act like a cocoon, giving her space to heal, and ultimately becoming a source of comfort. The wintry forest and frozen lake are a mirror to her own grief, and as they begin to thaw, so does she.
Is the nature and the landscape in a story important to you, as a reader? Next time you read a descriptive passage about a certain place or recall Lizzie Bennett taking all those walks outdoors to get away from the confines of the domestic setting in Pride and Prejudice, pause and see what the author might be trying to tell you… that we are a part of this wild earth and it is a part of us? That we cannot escape this special bond nor should we try? That we can cherish nature, give thanks, talk and write about it? What does it tell you when a character rejects the countryside in favour of the bright city lights?
I’d be interested to hear what you think! Do please leave a comment, and thanks for reading.
About the Author
Jenny Loudon is a novelist and poet who has published two Amazon best-selling books FINDING VERITY and SNOW ANGELS. She has worked as an editor, researcher and proof-reader. She read English and American Literature at the University of Kent at Canterbury, and gained a Masters in The Modern Movement. She currently lives with her family in the English countryside
Social media links
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jennyloudonauthor/
Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/jennyloudonauthor/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/jenloudonauthor
Website – www.jennyloudon.com
Info about the books and buying Links
The heart-warming bestseller from this exciting debut novelist.
An unhappy woman. An unfinished romance. A sense that time is running out…
Verity Westwood is a successful London businesswoman whose husband is handsome but selfish. When Edward Farrell, a nomadic American journalist from her past, returns unexpectedly, she is swept by the irresistible desire to fulfil her dreams of working as an artist, like her famous father before her. After being caught in a storm on the Cote d’Azur, she vows to change her life.
What she does not foresee is the struggle involved, the ultimate price she will pay, and the powerful force of enduring love that changes everything.
Buying link – FINDING VERITY
An accident. That’s all it was.
Amelie Tierney is working hard, furthering her nursing career in Oxford. She has a loving husband and a small son, who is not yet two. She jogs through the streets of her beloved city most days, does not see enough of her lonely mother, and misses her grandmother who lives in a remote wooden house, beside a lake in Sweden.
And then, one sunny October morning, it happens—the accident that changes everything and leaves Amelie fighting to survive.
Set amid the gleaming spires of Oxford and the wild beauty of a Swedish forest, this is a story about one woman’s hope and her courage in the face of the unthinkable.
Buying link – SNOW ANGELS