The Last Good Man

The Last Good Man. Fiction, published November 2012.

Available from Amazon here.

The Last Good Man Simon Petherick

A novel of mystery, passion, loss and longing set on a wild Cornish beach.

‘The novel speaks eloquently for itself…love, certainty, longing, regret, survival. The story features all that and more.’ Daily Mail

’A searing story of love, loneliness and tragedy…powerful plotline and stark imagery…descriptions are deeply evocative of the beautiful yet often savage coastal landscapes.’ 
Cornwall Today

A man has lived on his own beside the sea for many years. From a choice made long ago, he keeps himself separate from the world of people, and is completely at one with his environment.
His solitude is broken by the discovery, one early morning on the flat sands of a low tide, of a child washed up on the beach. Somehow, she is still alive.

‘Clearly has an intimate knowledge and love of the Cornish coastline and its unique type of village community, which feature so vividly in this charming and surreal tale of human misfits…a keen eye for descriptive detail and a talent for emotional understatement, building to a heartwrenching climax.’ 
Western Morning News

In the village, a woman reflects on a lifelong fascination with an ancient love story as she faces an unknown future.

 She has come back home to face up to the realities of her life – but at the same time, the story of Abelard and Heloise sustains her imagination.

The new arrival on the beach sets in chain a sequence of events that no-one can alter, and in this mystical work of literary fiction, we witness a man experiencing our world as though for the first time.

Discover Sam: the last good man on earth.

’Paints powerful images of the Cornish coastline and the village community.’ 
Eastern Daily Press

‘A canny mix of myth, fable and reality and I have cast my mind back to it frequently since I finished it and been able to see hidden depths.’ 

English Arcadia

English Arcadia. Fiction, published 30 November 2018.

Available from Amazon here.

english arcadia simon petherick

In June 2017, after a self-imposed absence of twenty-five years, Darius Frome returns to the family home, an imposing Lutyens mansion towering above the Thames in Buckinghamshire. The grandson of maverick political aristocrat Sir Zachary Frome and his successful novelist wife Felicity Drummond, Darius is unsettled to discover the house of his childhood riven with discord. Spanning a century of idealistic left-wing aspiration, English Arcadia delves into the depths of family rivalry, political ambition and personal tragedy, set against ancient themes of the natural world.

‘A spellbinding story that skilfully charts the disintegration of three generations of an English family following a horrific event at the bottom of an idyllic English garden. I was gripped from the first page.’

Michael Ridpath, author of The Wanderer

From the the novel’s Afterword:

‘In 1988, I travelled to Devon to interview Sir Richard Acland in his house which stood on the lands of the Killerton Estate which he himself had given to the National Trust in 1944. He was 82 at the time and graciously agreed to be interviewed by me on the subject of his latest book, Hungry Sheep, an attack on the individualistic political philosophy he identified in all contemporary parties. He was a truly remarkable man: in the 1940s, he led Common Wealth, the ultra-left wing political party which won byelections against both Conservative and Labour oppositions only to founder with the Labour landslide of 1945; in the 1950s, with Harold Wilson, he formed War On Want and subsequently championed Harrison Brown’s seminal green document, A Challenge for the Future. In later years, in his own words, he believed that “good causes will founder and evil causes will prevail unless moral and religious forces are brought in on the side of the good.”

‘I have thought about this decent, determined, kind and intelligent man for thirty years since that meeting, which is perhaps why he has served as the inspiration for the fictional character Sir Zachary Frome in this novel. The novel and the characters portrayed in it are entirely fictitious and the extended Frome family bear no relation to any people alive or dead, but I would simply like to express my thanks to Sir Richard Acland for indulging a curious young man all that time ago with such sincerity and humour.’

Download an Information Sheet from the publishers about the book here.

Buy the book from Amazon here.

A little more information on this blogpost here.