Houses play a key role in Thorne Moore’s fiction. They act as silent commentators on the people who live between their walls, witnessing both their joys and their despairs.
In her latest novel, The Covenant, the house known as Cwmderwen bears witness to the misfortunes of the Owen family as they struggle to keep hold of their plot of Welsh farmland. It’s a tragic tale of thwarted dreams, lost love, religious zeal, betrayals and ultimately murder, spanning almost four decades.
The Owen family rent a modest plot but every inch of its twenty-four acres, one rood and eight perches is precious to the patriarch “Tada”. A deeply religious man, he views his tenure as God’s will, part of a covenant with the intent that it should pass in time to his son Tom and all future generations. But the plan is thwarted when Tom dies before he reaches maturity, a tragic event that turns Tada into a religious zealot.
Wales going right back to 1883. The remainder of the book tracks the Owen family’s story from this point in the late 1800’s until about 1922. Their story is one of religion, betrayal, duty and murder – all set against the agricultural backdrop of rural Wales and follows them through a period of unimaginable heartbreak, loss and hardships.
have witnessed it all and they don’t forget.”
The Owens are tied to this Pembrokeshire land – no-one will part them from it dead or alive. Leah is tied to home and hearth by debts of love and duty – duty to her father, turned religious zealot after the tragic death of his eldest son, Tom; love for her wastrel younger brother Frank’s two motherless children. One of them will escape, the other will be doomed to follow in their grandfather’s footsteps. At the close of the 19th century, Cwmderwen’s twenty-four acres, one rood and eight perches are hard won, the holding run down over the years by debt and poor harvest. But they are all the Owens have and their rent is always paid on time. With Tom’s death a crack is opened up and into this chink in the fabric of the family step Jacob John and his wayward son Eli, always on the lookout for an opportunity. Saving her family, good and bad, saving Cwmderwen, will change Leah forever and steal her dreams, perhaps even her life… “…a powerful and compelling tale of one woman’s determination in the face of sacrifice, hardship and tragedy… with a satisfying twist at the end.”
The Covenant by Thorne Moore: End Notes
About The Book:
About the Author: Thorne Moore was born in Luton but has lived in north Pembrokeshire for over 30 years. She has degrees in History and Law, worked in a library and ran a family restaurant. She divides her time between running a miniature furniture craft business and writing psychological crime mysteries.