Peter Crawley

About Boarding House Reach

I didn’t really set out to write a novel about five characters meeting up in a guest house on the Norfolk coast: the novel just kind of happened, like a short walk you set out on and, after you realise you are enjoying yourself, you carry on for a while longer. After Mazzeri, I thought perhaps I needed to work on my characterisation and make some new acquaintances from those I had gotten to know so well in south-eastern Corsica. So I set to writing a number of short character sketches. And, once I’d put some flesh and colour on the bone of these characters, I came to the conclusion that they were worthy of a wider recognition. It was, if you like, as though once I'd brought them forth, I couldn't keep from finding out was going to happen to them.

Back last year, I was standing – as a Canary’s supporter one doesn’t even dream of sitting down at away games – watching the boys in yellow play Queen’s Park Rangers at Loftus Road. Clearly, the game wasn’t mesmerizing as at some point I recalled a similar game at Carrow Road and a weekend spent staying in a guest house on the Norfolk coast. I remembered the rain had fallen, as the novelist Ernest K. Gann had it, like ‘a cow pissing on a flat rock’ and the wind and the grey wastes of the North Sea had done nothing to encourage me beyond the door. So I passed the odd unforgiving hour discussing with my fellow residents the circuitous paths by which we had all come to such an out of the way place. And from those extraordinary stories, Boarding House Reach came about.

The characters:

Hacker, ex-pro-footballer turned salesman, knows that if he can’t resurrect his sales contract with Norfolk Electrical, his job, his flat and his reputation are all on the line. But, is blackmail a game Hacker is tough enough to play?

Phoebe, 2nd year Cambridge undergrad, is summoned to a disciplinary meeting.  Since the beginning of the Term, Phoebe has transformed from model student into potential drop-out and
her Director of Studies is keen to know why.

Audrey, a widow in her sixties, lives quietly in the Oxfordshire village of Charlbury, until one morning the postman delivers a pack of old letters and Audrey learns that her life was not as straightforward as she so wanted to believe it had been.

Philip Scott, aspiring young businessman, family man and dutiful son-in-law, has always known that love and success would come at a price. Lately though, Philip has begun to doubt whether he possesses the means to accommodate both.
Stella, the landlady of the Bed & Breakfast, can’t understand why the Revenue and the police are taking such an interest in her and one of her former and very dead residents. But, is Stella really as naïve as she would have them believe?

I hope you enjoy Boarding House Reach.