The Listeners by Edward Parnell

May 1940. Ghosts haunt the woods and fields of Norfolk, as Europe descends into full-blown warfare. William Abrehart, a strange, nature-loving boy who hasn’t spoken since the mysterious death of his father, struggles to keep the promise he made to look after his withdrawn mother and older sisters. Rachel, the eldest, is waiting for news from France of her soldier sweetheart, while Kate has designs on an airman stationed nearby. Over the course of a momentous weekend, a complex family web of lies and self-deception will unravel, as the past and present dramatically collide.

Drawing on the Gothic traditions of Walter de la Mare’s poem of the same name, Edward Parnell’s ‘The Listeners’ is a dark, elegiac tale about grief, love and loss, and how we try to make sense of existence through stories and memories.

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