Trilogy Set


Ruth Sutton’s powerful trilogy set in the north-west corner of England, ‘Between the Mountains and the Sea’. She creates an intimate picture of interconnected lives in Cumbria in the early twentieth century.


Jessie Whelan has always been a good liar, trying to protect her independence and her career as a teacher. But she risks everything when, after years of discreet loneliness, she embarks on a love affair. In the meantime, her secret past draws ever closer.


Forgiven continues the story of Jessie Whelan, an independent Cumbrian woman with a secret past, in the aftermath of World War 2. Before the war, in the first part of the trilogy, Jessie had learned to be a ‘A Good Liar’, struggling to hang on to her job as a teacher during the economic depression of the 1930s, and embarking on a risky affair with a much younger man. Now we find her still struggling, this time against local men returning from active war service who resent both her job and her occupation of the schoolhouse.
In the meantime, Jessie and her secret son are still not reconciled. John is older and more confident, creating a successful life for himself in the hazardous coal mines of West Cumberland. He falls in love with a young war widow, but the road to marriage is a bumpy one, complicated by secrets and religious disagreements. Through the fierce winter of 1947, Jessie and her son both have difficult decisions to make about their futures, while the mining community of Whitehaven faces disaster. It is almost the end of an era, as coal gives way to the dawn of nuclear power.


Set on the coastal plain of Cumberland in the mid-twentieth century, ‘Fallout’ follows on from ‘A Good Liar’ and ‘Forgiven’ as the final part of Ruth Sutton’s fascinating trilogy ‘Between the Mountains and the Sea’