It’s the summer of 1969. Ellie Barton has spent her young life in a sprawling and dilapidated manor house with her elderly father. Marlford, the village founded by her philanthropist grandfather is in decay: subsidence from the abandoned salt mines is threatening the building, the books in the memorial library are moldering, and old loyalties and assumptions are shifting.

When two radical young men decide to squat in a disused wing of the house, they open Ellie’s eyes to a world wider than Marlford, and Ellie begins to feel trapped beneath the weight of history and expectation.


Mail on Sunday ‘Best new Fiction’:“Set during the week of the first Apollo moonlanding, this is a well crafted, unsettling novel, an extended metaphor about an anachronistic past disturbed by the forces of modernity, into who spell claustrophobic spell one is drawn.”


Yallop’s writing is subtle and nuanced”, The Sunday Times.


“Yallop is a talented writer and skilfully uses the subsiding buildings as a metaphor for Ellie’s upturned life,”

The Independent

Published in the UK by Atlantic Books, February 2015, ISBN 0857891065