Adam Goodman and his sister Hilary Pope inhabit different worlds. Adam teaches at the local college, Hilary owns a rundown hill farm she would like to sell.
Adam agrees one summer to look after the farm for her while she goes on holiday, but his days in charge at Foolsmeadow Grange soon expose him to the kind of world his job keeps at bay… He finds the experience deeply unsettling.
Moreover, when it comes to explaining the actions of the Verity family whose members’ paths variously intersect or influence his own that summer, Adam finds himself both beguiled and, ultimately, at a loss. His days at the farm culminate in tragedy for which he feels somehow to blame.
If only he’d stayed away, stayed in his own cloistered world!
P T Mellors grew up in a Derbyshire town known for its Crooked Spire (still there) and its heavy industry (long gone). He is now retired from a lifetime of varied jobs in different parts of the country and lives in the neighbouring county of Nottinghamshire. Foolsmeadow Days is his second novel.
Ian Birkett (Guest Review) - 01 Jun, 2023
In this gripping mystery novel the somewhat aloof and hapless Adam Goodman finds himself bemused as tragic events unfold around him. He has agreed to hold the fort at his sister’s hill farm while she is away on holiday in Scotland little knowing what he has let himself in for. We see him react to the mayhem around him, calmly assessing and critiquing others and their at times dysfunctional behaviour with a sense of distance and his own acerbic brand of wit. The novel examines how loose ends aren’t always neatly tied up and how the fragile veneer of everyday life occasionally cracks to reveal a fleeting glimpse of the secrets that lie beneath.
P A Beard (Guest Review) - 16 May, 2023
A REVIEW OF “FOOLSMEADOW DAYS” BY P T MELLORS
This novel, like its predecessor GOODMAN, GIBSON AND PARTNERS, is told in the first
person. It is also told through the eyes of the same central character, Adam Goodman –
here some thirty to forty years younger than he was in the earlier novel but recognisable as
the same jovial family man complete with foibles and frailties and a way of looking at the
world that suggests none of it should be taken too seriously – at least, not until tragedy
strikes. Which it does, inevitably, in both novels, raising a question that may bother other
readers too: why does the Goodman novel end the way it does, in a series of unsettlingly
It must be a ploy on the author’s part, I tell myself. To start with, there are the limitations
imposed necessarily by the use of the First Person narrative. Everything is seen, remember,
through Goodman’s eyes, including the other characters, and Goodman after all isn’t Google
– he doesn’t have access to developments and experiences outside his limited personal
range and so is beset, ultimately, by the same ignorance, doubts and speculation as the
reader. Secondly, you could be forgiven for thinking there is a conspiracy in both novels to
have the reader believe these are crime or detective stories when clearly they are not.
Something else is afoot. I see them as literary fiction dressed up, if you like, as whodunnits.
And why not? The formula (dictating that all is sorted out by the end and the villains
identified and brought to justice) isn’t sacred, surely, though it remains a fashionable
James ghost story. But most of all it is the searingly tragic depiction of the various members
of a seriously dysfunctional family that, for me, gives the book its grim power to impress.
FOOLSMEADOW DAYS is definitely worth a read, and the questions you may have by the
end are a small price to pay, believe me.