Religious intolerance, radicalisation, violence and flight: a story of our times you might think. But Hill of the Angels by Sue Mayfield is set centuries back during the English Civil War. Full of complicated relationships, family feuds and deeply held beliefs, the novel is told alternately by Grace and Abigail, friends who unwillingly find themselves on opposing sides by association.
Sue Mayfield is a superb storyteller with a gift for creating characters with strong voices. Hill of the Angels is a welcome addition to her all too small collection of novels. I only wish that she’d write more fiction for teenagers. I discovered her through I Carried You on Eagle’s Wings, a book that stayed with me for a long time. And then, many many years later, Voices was one of the longlisted titles for the Carnegie Medal when I was a judge. It’s a very different book but I loved it just as much – for its strong characters and for the clever way the plot twines round a production of The Tempest.