Susan Roebuck contacted me to let us know about her new book which is due out later this week.
Susan is a regular visitor to Madeira – my husband’s Madeirense, although I’m English and I’m a published author.
On 5th October my fifth book will be published. It’s the third in my Portuguese series and it’s called “Joseph Barnaby”.
My first in the series is “Rising Tide” set on the Alentejo coast, whilst my second, “Forest Dancer” is set not far from Sintra near Lisbon.
“Joseph Barnaby” is set on Madeira Island.
Here is a brief description:
By standing up for his principles, horse farrier Joseph Barnaby lost everything. Now, when a personal vendetta goes too deep to fight, he escapes to the Portuguese island of Madeira where he finds work on a small farm only accessible by boat.
The balmy climate and never-ending supply of exotic fruit, vegetables, and honey make it sound like paradise. But, for Joseph, it’s the ideal place to hide from the world.
Not everyone is prepared to give up on life’s misfortunes. The local fishing village has its own surprises and the inhabitants of Quinta da Esperança have more grit in them than the pebbled beach that borders the property.
In order to get away from the dreadful vendetta against him, Joseph finds the best place to hide away: a farm on one of the pebbly beaches that is only accessible by boat. It’s called a fajã which is a flat area of land at the bottom of a steep escarpment or cliff. Often formed on the islands of Madeira and the Azores from volcanic lava flow before it was stopped by the ocean. Joseph’s fajã is just wide and long enough to be farmed.
This is the view that Sofia, niece of the farmer on the fajã, sees when she looks down on it from far above:
“…the farm stretched to the rocky grey-pebbled beach where the white veil of surf broke on the grey and black shoreline of the Fajã. Her uncle’s Quinta dos Françeses sat at sea-level where he farmed two acres of vineyards, an acre of banana trees and another two of fruit trees and bushes, not including the vegetable patches, goats, chickens and a donkey. The red-roofed farmhouse had been built on a small hillock, the highest point of the Fajã, at the far western end surrounded by a verdant array of overhanging passion-fruit creepers and a vegetable garden. Next to the farmhouse was the wash-house, then the farm-worker’s cottage. Behind them were the fruit orchards, and the wine-cellar barn. Next in line was the tool-shed, flanked by another fruit orchard. And there, at the far western end, sheltered from the sea by a black stone wall, were her beehives.”
And here is Joseph Barnaby sitting quietly on a rock on his first day:
“Joe threw his banana skin into the waves as they lapped the beach. For such an isolated place, it was full of noise: waves breaking on the shore, leaves rustling in the wind, cicadas creaking their back legs off, birds twittering and calling to one another in the fruit trees before bedding down, and wailing gulls that only seemed to come out in the evening and at night, and which, he’d been told when he’d asked in the bar in Ponta Estreita, nested high up in the cliffs. They sounded like a baby crying.”
What better place to hide away from the world?
An uninhabited fajã
Susan Roebuck was born in the UK but married her husband – who is from Madeira – and now lives near Lisbon. She has five books published.
Joseph Barnaby published by Crooked Cat Books.
Susan’s website: http://www.susanroebuck.com