Kevin Whately reads Benjamin Myers' lyrical story of a young man's journey from his mining village just after WWII, and his unlikely friendship with an eccentric older woman.
One summer following the Second World War, sixteen year old Robert Appleyard sets out on foot from his Durham mining village, desperate to see something of the world before he goes down the pit. Acutely attuned to the rhythms and delights of the natural world, he sleeps rough and takes work where he can find it, until he meets Dulcie Piper, an eccentric older woman who lives in a ramshackle cottage looking out to sea. Dulcie is everything Robert is not: wordly, cynical, knowledgeable about poetry and politics, a lover of fine food and drink, someone who has seen both the best and the worst of human nature in the chaos of war. Despite their utterly different backgrounds, the two form an unlikely friendship which has a profound effect on both their lives.
As an old man, Robert looks back on that summer that changed the direction his life was to take, and the woman who opened his eyes to life's possibilities.
Benjamin Myers is an award-winning novelist, music journalist and landscape writer. His novel 'The Gallows Pole' received a Roger Deakin Award and won the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction; 'Beastings' won the Portico Prize for Literature; and 'Pig Iron' won the inaugural Gordon Burn Prize.
Kevin Whately is well known for his television roles in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, and as Robert 'Robbie' Lewis in Inspector Morse and Lewis.
Episode 1/10: Leaving
It's Spring, and Robert sets off from his village with a few basic provisions and no idea of where he'll end up.
Reader: Kevin Whately
Abridger: Sian Preece
Producer: Sara Davies
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