Ketherstone Ridge

ABOUT Brian Serjeant

Brian Serjeant
Lifetime spent (or maybe squandered) in IT, from the mighty old mainframes to current technologies, in the course of which I helped construct some towering edifices: cathedrals of software…  that have vanished like so many houses of straw. Yes, computer applications have a remarkably sh More...



Ketherstone Ridge is an historical novel set in the 19th century (between 1847 & 1890, with references extending before and after those dates). It follows the lives of a widower (Gabriel) and his small daughter (Rebecca) who escape disease-ridden London with the intention of emigrating to the New World, but through a curious twist of Fate they settle instead in a village (Ketherstone Ridge) in the Cotswolds, where Gabriel takes up employment at the local Manor House.
The story first centres on life in the village, which is sometimes tender, sometimes humorous, sometimes downright earthy, but it can also be cruel and even brutal, and danger lurks there for Rebecca.
Rebecca is bright, talented and charismatic. Her antithesis, and would-be nemesis, is the evil Lucas, misbegotten and misanthropic son of the Lady of the Manor and heir to the estate, who harbours a pathological hatred of her. His mistreatment of Penelope, his half-sister and Rebecca’s friend, results in her death and incurs Rebecca’s wrath.
As Rebecca grows up, the focus shifts to her and the story's setting moves with her to Clifton, Bristol, with excursions to West Wales and eventually to East-Coast USA and back. In the final part of the book, a now-wealthy Rebecca moves back to Ketherstone and to an inevitable showdown with Lucas.
Rebecca's life, like her father’s, is punctuated with both joy and tragedy. Their story is one of conflict and concord, humour and hubris, disappointment and fulfilment - an observation of the human spirit when vastly different social and economic strata meet head-on.
Unusually, the book is interwoven with a central musical thread, and an original composition is featured.