The First Meonbridge Chronicle
Published Nov 2016
229 x 152 mm (270 pages)
Eleanor flew back to the village in a panic. Reaching the rough track that enteredthe village from the south, passing between the wide acres of the common fields,she called out to the men working there, cutting the meagre crop of hay. But hergasping voice did not carry, and she had to stop to catch her breath. Lookingover towards the men, she thought she could see John atte Wode among thegroup of five or six scattered across the nearest field and, jumping over the ditchat the side of the track, she ran towards him. As she got closer, she could see itwas indeed John and began to call his name. By the time she reached him, shewas breathing hard, and John looked up from his work, concerned.
Plague-widow Alice atte Wode is desperate to find her missing daughter, but her neighbours are rebelling against their masters and their mutiny is hindering the search.
June 1349. In a Hampshire village, the worst plague in England’s history has wiped out half its population, including Alice atte Wode’s husband and eldest son. The plague arrived only days after Alice’s daughter Agnes mysteriously disappeared, and it prevented the search for her.
Now the plague is over, the village is trying to return to normal life, but it’s hard, with so much to do and so few left to do it. Conflict is growing between the manor and its tenants, as the workers realise their very scarceness means they’re more valuable than before: they can demand higher wages, take on spare land, and have a better life. This is the chance they’ve all been waiting for.
Although she understands their demands, Alice is disheartened that the search for Agnes is once more put on hold. When one of the rebels is killed, and then the lord's son is found murdered, it seems the two deaths may be connected, both to each other and to Agnes’s disappearance.