Working with Sharon.
It was so good to work with fellow professional – journalist and novelist Sharon Griffiths, in developing and publishing her new novel Amity and the Angel.
This is Sharon’s third published novel, It is a marvellously perceptive venture into the exciting field of future fiction – imagining life in a future world which has been virtually destroyed after the destructive 21st Century Oil Wars.
The heroine, teenager Amity, lives on a distant island which – in its own process of survival – has reverted to a restrictive religion-obsessed world. Amity battles on with the restrictions, trying to assert her right to live a normal life. Her childhood sweetheart, who had left the island, now returns strangely changed. One day on the beach Amity comes across a golden haired wounded figure whom she takes to be an angel.
More about Sharon Griffiths and Amity
Originally from Pembrokeshire, West Wales. Sharon ended up in the North East of England by way of Bristol University and Radio Oxford. For some years she has written regular columns and feature articles for The Northern Echo (http://tiny.cc/ia6lky) and the Eastern Daily Press in Norwich – as well as features for national newspapers.
Sharon’s columns and articles are widely popular for their intelligence, warmth and humour as well as their insight into domestic, cultural and political life. Her previous novels, The Accidental Time Traveller and The Lost Guide to Life and Love, gained plaudits here and abroad.
With Amity and The Angel Sharon enters new territory. In this novel we flip back what appears to be medieval times in a severe Protestant island sect. However this is the contemporary world, after world-wide oil wars have destroyed much of the planet. (How resonant this is, of present day fears …)
The island is loosely connected to equally isolated mainland communities and is serviced by travelling tradesmen who bring them news of the wider world. On the island there are no machines, few horses, no dancing, no singing, even in church, where there is much haranguing and instruction and bullying authority, There is a chilling scene here, of the public shaming of a girl who has had a child out-of-wedlock
Amity does no fit into this oppressive community with is clerical hierarchy and gender based laws. Here own discontent is fed by the memories if the grandmother she takes care of, who has told her tales of times when there was singing and dancing, mobile phones, high heels and lipstick.
After Amity’s friend Finn leaves the island for the mainland, she finds solace in a creature she finds in a cave on the beach. She thinks of him as an Angel . Perhaps he can be a key to change and the restoration of normality both for her and the world community?
A wonderful and thought provoking read. W.R.