On crutches after breaking her leg, Anna returns from hospital to Nant yr Aur, her isolated cottage and beloved haven, and recalls how her life has been bound up with the old house since she first discovered it in her childhood. Later on, her relationship with the owner, Ioan, had enabled her to realise her dreams and take possession of it. Now, out of the blue, she receives a letter from a stranger, Siôn, asking to buy Nant yr Aur. Despite her instinctive refusal, and the evident disapproval of Emyr, her old friend and neighbour, she allows Siôn to visit.
She finds herself curiously drawn to the young man, roughly the age of the son she long ago lost to illness and whom she still mourns more than the end of her relationship with Ioan. As her convalescence progresses and she comes to rely increasingly on Siôn, Anna begins to unravel the threads of the past, to reassess her own relationship with both Ioan and the house, and to understand the way Nant yr Aur has influenced her life. Finally she must face a difficult but liberating truth.
Quietly understated, Sian Northey's unassuming first novel for adults sensitively explores the fine line between security and confinement, and a house's influence on its occupants. With its strongly realised characters and sense of place, and lyrical, beautifully paced style, this short novel is a little gem.
Janet Roberts, Gwales