Author(s): Emily Woof
This is a story of two young people who fall in love - and then life gets in the way. Ursula is part dreamer, part radical in the making. Raised in a matriarchal household by a CND-loving activist, she is impatient to begin a life of adventure. But this is Newcastle in the mid-80s where girls are getting permed and their dreams go no further than copping off down the Bigg Market. Then Ursula meets Jerry, a class warrior from the wrong side of town, intellectually hungry, erudite and ambitious. It is a meeting of bodies, souls, minds and ideals. Keen to pursue the road less travelled, Ursula heads to India while Jerry goes to Oxford and the promise of politics and power. As Ursula searches for answers, she is soon drifting - and Jerry loses touch. What happens to young love when it is tested by real life? The Lightning Tree is a lyrical and funny novel for fans of The Line of Beauty and The Marriage Plot.
The Lightning Tree is a lyrical and funny novel for fans of The Line of Beauty and The Marriage Plot.
This moving, though somewhat inconsistent, coming-of-age love story set in 1980s Newcastle traverses the very different life trajectories of middle-class Ursula and working-class Jerry, who end up in a poverty-stricken part of India and Oxford University respectively. The novel explores themes of class, privilege and guilt and it is difficult not to become invested in the fate of the believable characters Woof has created. The Lightning Tree is worth a read. - Nadishka, The Book Grocer
Born in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Emily Woof has written for stage, film and radio. She wrote and directed Meeting Helen for FilmFour, and directed the prize-winning short film Between The Wars. She has also worked as a trapeze artist and actor; her screen credits include Oliver Twist, The Full Monty, Pandaemonium, This Year's Love and Velvet Goldmine. Her first novel The Whole Wide Beauty was published to great acclaim in 2010. She lives in London with her husband and two children.