Into the Trees

Faber & Faber
Free sample

Harriet Norton won't stop crying. Her parents, Ann and Thomas, are being driven close to insanity and only one thing will help. Mysteriously, their infant daughter will only calm when she's under the ancient trees of Bleasdale forest.
The Nortons sell their town-house and set up home in an isolated barn. Secluded deep in the forest, they are finally approaching peace - until one night a group of men comes through the trees, ready to upend their lives and threaten everything they've built.

Into the Trees is the story of four dispossessed people, drawn to the forest in search of something they lack and finding their lives intertwining in ways they could never have imagined. In hugely evocative and lyrical writing, Robert Williams lays bare their emotional lives, set against the intense and mysterious backdrop of the forest. Compelling and haunting, Into the Trees is a magisterial novel.

Read more

About the author

Robert Williams grew up in Clitheroe, Lancashire and currently lives in Manchester. His first novel, Luke and Jon, won a Betty Trask Award, was translated into six languages and called 'a hugely impressive debut' in the Daily Telegraph. His second novel, How the Trouble Started, was shortlisted for the Portico Prize for Fiction. He has worked in a secondary school library, as a bookseller for Waterstones, and has written and released music under the name The Library Trust.
Read more



Additional Information

Faber & Faber
Read more
Published on
Apr 1, 2014
Read more
Read more
Read more
Read more
Fiction / General
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
"There was a time, and no mistake, When thet same ranche down in the brake Was pleasanter a heap to me Than any sight on land or sea.

The hosses knew it like their master, Smelt it miles orf, and spank'd the faster!

Ay, bent to reach thet very spot, Flew till they halted steaming hot Sharp opposite the door, among The chicks and children old and young; And down I'd jump, and all the go Was 'Fortune, boss!' and 'Welcome, Joe!'

And Cissy with her shining face, Tho' she was missus of the place, Stood larfing, hands upon her hips; And when upon her rosy lips I put my mouth and gave her one, She'd cuff me, and enjy the fun!

She was a widow young and tight, Her chap had died in a free fight, And here she lived, and round her had Two chicks, three brothers, and her dad, All making money fast as hay, And doing better every day.

Waal! guess tho' I was peart and swift, Spooning was never much my gift; But Cissy was a gal so sweet, So fresh, so spicy, and so neat, It put your wits all out o' place, Only to star' into her face.

Skin whiter than a new-laid egg, Lips full of juice, and sech a leg!

A smell about her, morn and e'en, Like fresh-bleach'd linen on a green; And from her hand when she took mine, The warmth ran up like sherry wine; And if in liquor I made free To pull her larfing on my knee, Why, there she'd sit, and feel so nice, Her heer all scent, her breath all spice!

See! women hate, both young and old, A chap that's over shy and cold, And fire of all sorts kitches quick, And Cissy seem'd to feel full slick The same fond feelings, and at last Grew kinder every time I passed; And all her face, from eyes to chin, Said *'Bravo, Joe! You're safe to win!'

And tho' we didn't fix, d'ye see, In downright words that it should be, Ciss and her fam'ly understood That she and me would jine for good.

On a windy night in the month of May, the full moon was flashing from cloud to cloud, each so small that it began to melt instantaneously beneath her hurried breath; and, in the fulness of the troubled light that she was shedding, the bright tongues of the sea were creeping up closer and closer through the creeks of the surrounding land, till they quivered like quicksilver under the walls of Mossleigh Abbey, standing dark and lonely amongst the Fens.

It was a night when, even in that solitude, everything seemed mysteriously and troublously alive. The wind cried as with a living voice, and the croaks of herons answered from the sands, The light of the moon went and came as to a rhythmic respiration; and when it hashed, the bats were seen hitting with thin z-like cry high up over the waterside, and when it was dimmed the owl moaned from the ivied walls. At intervals, from the distant lagoons, came the faint ‘quack, quack’ of flocks of ducks at feed. The night was still, but enchanted; subdued, yet quivering with sinister life. Over and above all was the heavy breath of the ocean, crawling nearer and nearer, eager yet fearful, with deep tremors, to the electric wand of that heavenly light.

Presently, from inland, came another sound—the quick tramp of a horse’s feet coming along the narrow road which wound up to, and past, the abbey ruins. As it grew louder, it seemed that every other sound was hushed, and everything listened to its coming; till at last, out of the moonbeams and the shadows, flashed a tall white horse, ridden by a shape in black.

Arrived opposite the ruins, the horse paused, and its rider, a woman, looked eagerly up and down the road, whereupon, as if at a signal, all the faint sounds of the night became audible again. The woman sat still, listening; and her face looked like marble. After pausing thus motionless for some minutes, she turned from the road, and walked her horse through the broken wall, across a stone-strewn field, and in through the gloomy arch of the silent abbey, till she reached the roofless space within, where the grass grew rank and deep, mingled with monstrous weeds, and running green and slimy over long neglected graves.

How dark and solemn it seemed between those crumbling walls, which only the dark ivy seemed to hold together with its clutching sinewy fingers! yet, through each of the broken windows, and through every archway, the moonlight beamed, making streaks of luminous whiteness on the grassy floor. The horse moved slowly, at his own will, picking his way carefully among fragments of fallen masonry, and stopping short at times to inspect curiously some object in his path. All was bright and luminous overhead; all dim and ominous there below. At last, reaching the centre of the place, the horse paused, and its rider again became motionless, looking upward.

©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.