In her second novel Maria McCann returns to 17th Century England, where life is struggling to return to normal after the horrific tumult of the Civil War. In the village of Spadboro Jonathan Dymond, a 26-year old cider-maker who lives with his parents, has until now enjoyed a quiet, harmonious existence. As the novel opens, a letter arrives from his uncle with a desperate request to speak with his father. When his father returns from the visit the next day, all he can say is that Jonathan's uncle has died. Then Jonathan finds a fragment of the letter in the family orchard, with talk of inheritance and vengeance. He resolves to unravel the mystery at the heart of his family - a mystery which will eventually threaten the lives and happiness of Jonathan and all those he holds dear.
Maria McCann's first novel, As Meat Loves Salt, was published by Flamingo in 2000 to huge acclaim: Andrew Marr praised it as 'outstanding…with all the dirt, stink, rasp and flavour of the time' and Lionel Shriver called it 'riveting'. Maria's fiction has also been published in various anthologies. Since 1986 Maria has been living and working in Somerset, apart from one year spent teaching in France. She combines teaching and writing with other interests such as voluntary communities and the allotments movement.