The Red Beach Hut hayden
The Red Beach Hut
Inspired Quill, 2017
A faded seaside town in autumn is the backdrop for this elegiac story of a vulnerable boy and the adult who befriends him. Eight year old Neville, who counts stars and steps and grains of sand, is the first to notice that the red beach hut is occupied again. Abbott is on the run after a disturbing cyber attack. Their fleeting friendship, played out on the margins of sea and shore, brings the honesty and compassion both seek. But others watch, judge and misinterpret what they see while Abbot’s past runs at their heels.
An evocative portrayal of two outsiders who find companionship and solace on a lonely beach. This novel is about the labels we give people who are different and the harm that ensues.
We live in polarised, paranoid times, suspicious about anything that departs from the norm. We are lucky to have writers like Lynn Michell to remind us that even here, even now, it is possible for the lonely and excluded to connect. It is rare to find such beauty and language as crisp and refreshing as the seaside it so powerfully evokes.
— Maureen Freely, President of English PEN, novelist, translator and activist.
I was left with the sensation of the fragility not just of seaside communities but of the knife-edge on which society is perched. A highly engaging and thought-provoking read.
— Ali Bacon, author of Between the Lines
The prose is achingly, beautiful, doing perfect justice to the story… I doubt there can be a better, more poetic or lyrical writer when it comes to sea and shore and to the timelessness of being out on the water in a boat.
Lynn Michell writes a beautifully innocent and endearing tale twisted by the tainted gaze of society’s perverse darkness, as two lost souls find hope in their unlikely companionship amidst their separate turmoil.
— Isabelle Coy-Dibley, The Contemporary Small Press
The characterisation of Abbott and Neville is quite superb. Lynn Michell conjures up the somehow appealing desolation of a faded British seaside town. The opening paragraph is a tour de force. You want to jump right in.
— Howard Sergeant, Writer and Ghostwriter.
A convincing and compelling read. Neville’s thoughts and speech effortlessly reflect that of a young child. An incredibly consistent character.
— Lauren Parsons, Legend Press
From the first pages of this novel, Michell sets up an atmosphere of such convincing threat that the reader’s expectations are on red alert.
— Jenny Garrod, Dundee University Review of the Arts.
By touching chords of such tenderness and insight, Lynn Michell positions the simple inside truths of these two characters way above the exterior actions of the ‘authorities’. It would be a shame if this book were not widely read, as it has a profound message for the way we live.
Neville is so beautifully drawn on the page – he has his own particular way of looking at the world and despite his life so far his worldview is so simple and lovely I just wanted to give him a big hug and make everything better, and in many ways that is what Abbott is doing during the course of the story.