20 June 2024

Novelist publishes fourth in series of farming family saga

by Rebecca Hannant

A writer from Hornsea has released her fourth novel.

Joy Gelsthorpe, aka Joy Stonehouse, was a teacher at Hornsea Primary School for 20 years.

After retiring, she began to research her family history and the local area. She learnt that her
mother was a Jordan, descended from the Jordans of Reighton.

Taking inspiration from her family history, Joy continues the story of the Jordan farmers (1720 to 1727) who live in Reighton, Filey Bay. In her latest novel, Bonfires and Brandy, Mary is suffering in an all-male household. She is pregnant and anxious as the village midwife/ healer is growing too old to help.

Her husband William has his own worries. He works as a “lenient” customs officer, and his double-dealing goes well until the arrival of a keen new member of the excise. He must mislead the man to save the smugglers while others have different and more violent plans.

As with Joy’s other novels, the events take place within the farming calendar – piglets are born, there are the horses and cattle to tend, and there are the November hirings at Hunmanby.

The older generation is always on hand with intriguing traditional remedies, and Robert Storey continues in his puritanical ways. The May Day festivities and midsummer bonfires allow the young of both sexes to mingle more freely – with unexpected results.

As with the previous books, watercolourist Pam Williams has designed and painted the front cover.

Joy will be selling her latest book, along with the previous three, at the Driffield Steam Fair on August 12 and 13 and at the Town House Fair in Hornsea on Saturday, August 26.

The books can be bought on Amazon as either a paperback or Kindle edition. In Hornsea, they are stocked at the Town House and the museum and at the Summer House at Hornsea Mere. They are also on sale at Skirlaugh Garden Centre.

Joy is now working on her fifth novel, the last in the series.