The Medlar Tree
Glenda Beagan’s stories introduce a host of ordinary and extraordinary characters: Gypsy Hayes, who really can read the future but doesn’t like what she sees; slightly sinister old Mrs Mossop (the ’saddist’); the terribly embarrassed young Hafwen; Mrs Jenkins, Sgubor Fawr, who every so often screams for a day. A French teacher waiting for her environmentally-sound lover, the mysterious and escaping Mrs Prosser, the poppy growing Laura, are on the brink of revelations which will transform their lives and surprise the reader.
Entangled in complex webs of convention, commitment and desire, families, marriages and affairs, the characters unravel their lives in an attempt to reach a decisive point. From the humour and anxiety of adolescence to the depression of mental ill-health, their world is marked by Glenda Beagan’s rich, lyrical description and acute, lively observation, which make The Medlar Tree a compelling and compassionate debut.