Westerdale was first dictated to me by Spirit when I was nineteen and now, many years later, I have published it in an effort to raise vital funds for Morley Holistic Cat Rescue. The charity desperately needs a new cattery for the many abandoned felines it deals with.
Westerdale is a Gothic tale set in the 1800s on the northern moors involving the fatal entwining of two families – the Grimshaws and Draytons which culminates in the mental and physical collapse of the main character – the tyrannical Heaton Grimshaw. At the beginning of the book he appears with nothing as a wandering vagrant, possessing a cruel sadistic streak moulded by his recent suffering that is only hinted at due to the fact that a whole new novel is devoted to Heaton’s early life. This prequel will be published later this year.
As Heaton heaps havoc on the Drayton family he forgets the universal law that governs us all – what goes around comes around. By the end of the novel Heaton has lost everything, including his health and sanity and the reader witnesses his fate with something like relief that his cruelties are curtailed.
The work possesses a haunting, poetical mood that has been likened by several reviewers to Wuthering Heights. Certainly the passionate descriptions of the Yorkshire moors in all their splendour on a summer day or filled with fire and brimstone on a stormy night brings Emily to mind but ultimately this is no love story but a tale of struggle and dominance. Heaton comes full circle – coming with nothing, raising himself up to shake off the mantle of poverty and then sinking again into the slough of despondency, even if it is self- inflicted. There are images of Hardy’s Mayor of Casterbridge here with added cruelty and violence.
My list of novels grow as more and more spirits commune and engage me with their tales of past life experiences and thus I have just finished my tenth book. It is my dearest wish that they all be published and viewed by the world so that these lives can be illuminated and by selling the novels many feline lives can also be saved in the process.
Love and light to you all,
Morwenna J. Holman.