Pollard by Laura Beatty

Pollard

Laura Beatty

A teenage girl leaves home to live in the woods outside town. The trees themselves are watching what goes on and are allowed to comment as she struggles to learn the ways of the forest and how to survive. This is an elegy for the countryside and nature as they come up against the demands of 21st century civilisation but also a moving description of the heroine's battles both in her head and with the world.

Extract

Winter was a knife, when it did come, a nail knocked into your fingernails and feet, a hammer. It happened to you, like it happened to the wood. The naked trees, the empty rides, just your footfall sounding in the dead white spaces.
Fog.
It was wetter mostly. All different types of rain mizzle, drizzle and downpour, cold as metal always. Frost sometimes. The air thick at other times, white and opaque. To stay alive Anne roared like stag, not afraid to make a noise now, not creeping invisible any more. Clumping on swollen feet, banging her hands, bellowing.

Parallels
  • Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • God's Own Country by Ross Raisin