Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain
'There exists in all of us a song waiting to be sung which is as heart-stopping and vertiginous as the peak of the cathedral. That is the meaning of this quiet city, where the spire soars into the blue, where rivers and stories weave into one another, where lives intertwine.' One quiet evening in Salisbury, the peace is shattered by a serious car crash. At that moment, five lives collide - a flower seller, a schoolboy, an army wife, a security guard, a widower - all facing their own personal disasters. As one of those lives hangs in the balance, the stories of all five unwind, drawn together by connection and coincidence into a web of experiences that perfectly represents the joys and tragedies of small town life.
A moving literary debut from a prizewinning young writer - a story of the joys and tragedies in everyday lives.
"Wonderful...I was hooked from the first page. Barney has the real novelist's ability to inhabit different characters, and to make the texture of life tangible and compelling. Everything he writes about love, loss, grief, desolation, and moments of hope and illumination rings absolutely true. It's the real stuff." -- Michael Frayn "Remember the name Barney Norris. He's a new writer in his mid-twenties, but already outstanding." Times "Barney Norris is a rare and precious talent...a writer-chronicler to be cherished." Evening Standard "Extraordinarily involving and perceptive...a picture of a society evoked through its injured members. A most remarkable book." -- Bernard O'Donoghue "Barney Norris' first novel has the deep emotional power and accuracy of his admired plays, and more: a sweeping study of how, in everyone's lives, memory and imagination may intersect with chance." -- David Hare
Barney Norris was born in Sussex in 1987, and grew up in Salisbury. Upon leaving university he founded the theatre company Up In Arms. He won the Critics' Circle and Offwestend Awards for Most Promising Playwright for his debut full-length play Visitors. He is the Martin Esslin Playwright in Residence at Keble College, Oxford. This is his first novel.