| As Far As the Eye Can See
An Autobiography in novel form, by Simon Sitwell,
of the last family to live in Barmoor, a border Castle
and ancestral home in Northumberland
A Mystery of Fortune - 6
non-fiction: 206 pages; 20 illust.
launch date: April 2019
"Unique, original, deftly crafted and an inherently fascinating read from cover to cover" Midwest Book Review
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Here, Simon Sitwell explores his family's collective story, shifting his point of view among its members. The Patriarch, General Sitwell, a survivor of the most famous battles of Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, dies in retirement, leaving his eldest son, spiteful, unprepared, and with limited ability, in charge of the family heritage.
This is a very different Sitwell family. Its members relate to each other only in their ancestral home, Barmoor Castle, where their worlds overlap. Military medals define the men; and politics and spiritualism the women. The General served at Khartoum, Gallipoli, the Transvaal, in the 2nd Afghan War, and on India's north-west frontier. His younger son, Simon, won the Distinguished Flying Cross in WW2, but when dealing with his mother, an aesthete novelist, and his profligate older brother, Simon is at a loss. The treasures of generations, the campaign medals themselves, are in danger as the estate diminishes. Barmoor, originally set on the bare moor, grew over time into a border castle with its owners mining, defending, and enjoying the flourishing land as far as the eye could see. With the family identity threatened and the medals, paintings, and all else about to be lost, Simon steps in as the tireless protector, but he may well be too late, as WW2 has changed the world forever.
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