Debut novel set in rural Cumbria, based on real events, the poetic, heartbreaking story of four generations of one farming family
Marie-Elsa Roche Bragg is half French, half Cumbrian and was brought up in London. She studied Philosophy and Theology at the University of Oxford, and trained for the Priesthood at Ripon College Cuddesdon. She is a Priest in the diocese of London, an Ignatian spiritual director, a therapist and a Duty Chaplain of Westminster Abbey. Her first novel, Towards Mellbreak, was published in 2017.
A really extraordinary, beautiful meditation on place and time,
tradition and identity... passionate, quiet, political * Rowan
This novel is so subtly written, building up the stories of good people and their tough lives, that we feel and then understand the depth of their relationships to each other and this beautiful, hard land - and so the tragedy of what happens is all the more heartbreaking. -- Tim Pears
How refreshing to find a first novel that does not read like the stilted product of a creative writing course... Bragg... not only displays a remarkable gift of observation - of human beings, animals, landscapes - but has written an impassioned elegy for a way of life that has come into head-on collision with the modern world -- Max Davidson * Mail on Sunday *
A literary force... In so richly depicting the hermetic bond between the Cumbrian landscape and the people who live there, she makes a subtle political point about the ease with which governments and big business disregard those whose lives are, for the most part, hidden from view -- Claire Allfree * Daily Mail *
Toward Mellbreak tells the story of struggling Cumbrian fell farmers, with a blunt lyrical richness that is resonant of Ted Hughes * Good Housekeeping *