Magnus Mills’s new novel explores the interaction between man and land on a comically miniature scale. The entire story is set within a single field positioned deep in the bend of a river and bounded by wilderness to the north. There is nothing to distinguish this space from the neighbouring fields, yet it inspires reverence in its sparse group of inhabitants – none more so than Mills’s idealistic narrator, who revels in the tranquillity of ‘the Great Field’ and regards it as ‘a place chosen especially to fulfil its purpose; a place where momentous events would unfold and come to fruition’.
As in Mills’s previous book, the remarkable Swiftian fantasy A Cruel Bird Came to the Nest and Looked In, here he has created another mythic, mercurial world, a utopia that increasingly reveals its own fragility. The narrator lives alongside a strange cast of characters who, one by one, have come