Paperbacks: Ferney, by James Long

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The Independent Culture

First published 10 years ago, James Long's indecently escapist love story was such a word-of-mouth success that copies were exchanged on Amazon for £85.

As in all good fantasies, a beautiful house lies at the heart of the book – a derelict cottage in deepest Somerset where newly-weds Mike and Gally Martin have just started work on a long-cherished grand design. Their happiness seems complete, but then Gally meets Ferney, a surprisingly fit octogenarian who seems to hold more attraction for her than her academically inclined husband. Long's unpretentiously told time-slippage romance is played out against a bewitchingly bucolic setting.