Cider Lane: Of Silences and Stars is the first novel by Mark Hayes
A contemporary novel of Love, loss, grief and falling from the fringes
Susanna is a troubled young woman who witnesses her parents die in a car crash. Grief-stricken lost and alone. She withdraws into the darkness of her own mind to find solace within walls of her subconscious. Afraid of people she carries with her a terrible secret. One she keeps even from herself. She watches as the car burn then turns and walks away.
She has no direction to follow but away from people, because people hurt, people bully and people ask questions. Questions she does not wish to answer, even if she is the one asking. She retreats further into herself. Suffering from shock and the beginnings of exposure she just keeps walking.
Miles away in Scotland, Colin lays beneath the stars, conversing with them as if they are old friends. A brilliant academic who has lost everything and is now living in the shadows of his a broken life. Homeless and wracked with the haunting griefs of his past. He walks the roads and sleeps in lost abandoned places he calls his ‘stays’. Hitching rides and making what little money he can in casual jobs. He has travelled the country for years since he left the drying out clinic. Haunted by the ghosts of the past. He packs up and heads south, remembering a place where cider apples grow in the summer sunshine.
In Summerset, off Cider Lane, there is an abandoned cottage in an orchard. A place forgotten by the world, broken down and half ruined. For Susanna, it provides a haven, a place to rest and regain herself. Having stumbled there, she sets about surviving, free of spiteful people and their dangerous questions.
When Colin arrives for the apple harvest, he finds a lost young girl as broken and damaged by the world as he once was. Together perhaps they can save each other. Amid ruins of the past, they must learn to trust once more in another. If only they can. While the world is ever waiting to crash in on them once more.
Meanwhile, the police search for Susanna, and James Felshaw a young officer with his own dark past is determined to save Susanna from the fate that befell his sister.
And the world never forgets anyone for long.
• A novel of the lost and the broken. Of sharing the silences, talking to the stars, and the importance of tin openers.
• Dark with humour and a cynic’s view of the world around us, among the hidden forgotten.
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And available in paperback for £7.99 from Amazon