Peter Maughan's Batch Magna series has the marvelous charm of a landscape painting, a moment caught in time, but Peter draws with words. Images that move in rhythm with the currents of the river that flows through the land.
When the troubles of the world become too much to endure escape into a land that may not exist, but should for everyone to enjoy. You will enjoy your visit and hoard each vivid phrase.
The Cuckoos of Batch Magna is where the reader is first introduced to the delightfully unique characters who dig a hole in your heart. They reside on the Cluny River in derelict paddle wheelers. Their view of life is that of an endless summer when the reality is held at bay for a few brief hours.
"River talking ... you could put the world to rights and change your life, or somebody else's, several times, all before breakfast."
Their lifestyle is extreme casual and frequented by 'jollies' on whichever old boat one happens to pass. Who would want to disturb the peace and tranquility of their home with 'change?'
The river people must cast loose their moorings when Humphrey Strange (American) inherits a title he knew nothing about and
heavily mortgaged land, with tenants who don't pay their rent in a world beyond his comprehension until he finds that yes, he does want to be the 9th baronet of Batch Hall.
Meet Sir Humphrey in the sequel Sir Humphrey of Batch Hall, has discovered love and taken up living in his ancestral home even though the walls are molding, the roof leaks, and the taxes must be paid. Now that he has found his baronial home place, he will fight to the death to protect it even against the evil which threatens to invade and seize his land by "a road to nowhere in particular, and in no particular hurry to get there."
Miss Wyndham, the village spinster, comes into her own as she 'frantically flaps her hand' to shush a wren whose song might betray her presence as a sleuth in Cutterbach Woods.
Polish the novels off with the outstanding baker's dozen essays that will take you though a year of village life. Detailing each season with their lyrical story telling of birthing, living and growing, harvesting and dying for humans and the land.
The pieces in Under the Apple Boughs will draw you back again and again to read and savor as one does a cup of well-brewed tea, a steaming mug of coffee, or a goblet of vintage wine.
As Peter observes, "Time. We are tied to it from birth and burdened with its future as well as its past."
Peter Maughan's books are available in Kindle editions. Visit with him on Twitter @PeterMaughan and http://www.batchmagna.com.
Nash Black, author of Cards of Death.