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Bank Holiday Monday

By Henry Sutton

The vast and lonely saltwater marshes of the North Norfolk coast hold many secrets. Henderson, haunted by this landscape since childhood holidays, finally returns one long, hot August weekend.

To a rented windmill he brings his wife, Laura, their five-year-old son and Alice, Laura’s attractive cousin whom she hasn’t seen since her own childhood. They are joined by another couple who are old friends and all seems set for a relaxing, congenial break. But before long tensions rise and everyone’s relationships begin to appear as unstable as the land.

Each day Henderson leads the fracturing group on journeys across the marshes, revisiting the volcano-shaped dune, the fairy woods and the prehistoric forest remains where he played with his sister as a child. As they progress, Henderson is forced to confront his shocking past, while Alice is reminded, all too vividly, of why she fled Australia, her itinerant lover and the terrible heat of the Nullarbor Plain. Laura, fearing irredeemable harm not only to her marriage but also to her little son, battles to keep the group from splitting apart before the bank holiday is over.

Distilled with longing and regret yet tinged with hope and redemption, Bank Holiday Monday is an elegiac, surprising novel, shaped by the extraordinarily beautiful, shifting and mysterious country in which it is set.

Henry Sutton was born in 1963 in Hopton, a small town on the Norfolk and Suffolk border. He began a career in journalism with the Norwich Mercury, later writing for The Times, The Daily Telegraph and GQ. He was appointed The European’s Travel Editor in 1993 and his first novel, Gorleston, was published in 1995.

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