The Mothering Spread
About The Author
Valerie Gillespie was born on the borders of North Derbyshire and Yorkshire, and lives partly in Devon and partly on a traditional boat where she completed, The Mothering Spread. Set on the moors in the middle of the 20th century, the novel is in two parts: The Watcher in the Tree, and, The Weaver in the Washhouse, and describes the passage of a childhood in an emotionally disturbed family into the creative life of the adult.
About The Book
Growing up in a creative family whose lack of appreciation of each other’s needs leads to its disintegration, the weaver, Bella Tillman, takes literally a request by a gallery for a “Life of the Artist.”
From a horse chestnut tree in Great Aunt’s garden, she watches over the moorland farmhouse her family should have inherited, becoming obsessed with Daniel Harper, the young violinist who lives there.
In this exploration of love, longings, values, and creativity, Bella passes from childhood to maturity. The author presents a beautiful picture of the rural life on a small farm as it might have been fifty years ago. The novel is suffused with a Proustian overtone of cherished memories from the past.