This story about outlaws living in a remote part of England (Yorkshire) feels timeless. The name Elmet refers to a region that was in existence during the Middle ages. The contemporary characters live roughly in the same area and their lives are just as violent.
The novel deals with fundamental themes of sovereignty–land and home ownership–family loyalty, dark secrets and revenge.
The style is lyrical and atmospheric while describing the family’s idyllic home. John built this home by hand on the land his ex-wife used to own. This man, known for his strength and fighting abilities, faces new complications when the town’s bully, Mr. Price, terrorizes his family.
Mozley gives the right amount of foreshadowing that makes the novel’s conclusion believable. Though everyone thinks Cathy is incapable of defending herself, the scene shows that she can hold her own and defend her family.
Elmet was a 2017 Man Booker Prize Finalist.