23 July 2024

Region’s landscape and history inspire new novel

A Roos-based author has published a new novel set largely in Hull and Holderness.

The Widening River is the second book by Hazel Hutchinson.

Withernsea, Spurn and the village of Roos are the settings for key scenes in the novel, which also features locations in Hull, as well as key events from the history of the area.

The story begins when the narrator, Helen, receives a mysterious visit. This leads her on a trail of discovery that unearths a dark secret from the past.

Her story and that of her family are inextricably linked to real-life events, from the Blitz of 1941 to the floods of 2007, and from the sinking of the Hull trawler Gaul in 1974 to the tidal surge of 2013.

Helen’s story begins in Hull, but her world widens out as she travels to a Scottish island and then to Venice and Barcelona in search of personal fulfilment.

Hazel said: “I was born in Hull, and I was also inspired by always having lived close to the River Humber and the North Sea and by the landscape of Holderness, where I have lived for over thirty years. I was fascinated by the links with JRR Tolkien who was based nearby during the First World War.

“The novel was partly inspired by my experience of watching the light show at the beginning of the 2017 Hull City of Culture year. Watching the depiction of the blitz and the trawler disasters made me think about telling a story about Hull and its history.”

Hazel said she has been delighted by the response to the novel since it was launched with a book-signing event at the Roos Arms.

The Widening River is now available to buy from Wrecking Ball Music and Books in Whitefriargate in Hull. It can also be ordered from Northsea Publishing via Facebook, or by emailing Hazel at [email protected].