By turns chilling and poignant, An Inventory of Heaven is a lyrical and intimate meditation on the things we hold onto in life and how, in the end, we can try to let them go.
As a young woman, Mavis Gaunt leaves post-war London to make a new life for herself in rural Devon, where she spent a few blissful months of her childhood as an evacuee. Living alone in the verdant hamlet of Shipleigh, she believes she's found a heaven on earth - until a violent tragedy brings trouble to paradise, and turns Mavis's idyllic solitude into a tormented, guarded isolation.
Decades later, the arrival of a newcomer to the village forces Mavis to make a final reckoning: should she take her horrible secret to the grave? Or, should she summon up her ghosts and, in doing so, lay them to rest? An Inventory of Heaven is a lyrical and intimate meditation on the rural life, falling in love and the long passing of time.
It s wonderful. The Inventory of Heaven is a revitalising exception to all the grim, mannered, clever books I read over the summer. The observation, the ear, the breadth of imaginative sympathy all these reminded me why it s worth reading fiction.
More intimate than Thomas Hardy, and as perceptive too, about the countryside and country people, Jane Feaver is a supremely compelling chronicler of rural isolation.
Accomplished in every way, this novel is a true delight. - The Independent
Pitch perfect....Most memorable is Feaver's language - burnished and sturdily poetic with a saving comic streak - Observer
Jane Feaver has proved an expert at creating a sense of place ... tender, imaginative prose - Sunday Herald.