Audible recently released Crossing Over, a new novel by celebrated writer, Ann Morgan, on 29 March, exclusively in audio.
From the bestselling author of Beside Myself, Crossing Over is an emotive and powerful story of an unlikely friendship between an elderly woman losing herself to dementia and an illegal immigrant suffering from PTSD.
It is narrated by Adjoa Andoh(Invictus, National Theatre Live: Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Doctor Who).
Ann Morgan has written a guest post today explaining the inspiration for Crossing Over, so I do hope you enjoy.
But firstly what is the story about…
[ About Crossing Over ]
Edie is struggling. She’s increasingly confused but she can’t let the women in the village find that out, they’d only talk. But she’s forgetting so much – forgetting to wear matching clothes, forgetting to bake one of her walnut cakes for the church sale… and forgetting to lock the front door… until one day she wakes to find Jonah in her house and herself in her past.
Jonah is struggling. The journey to England was dangerous and he’s the only one who survived – and he still hasn’t made it to London. England is not the Utopia he was promised, but everything will be fine if he can just get to London. But can he leave Edie to look after herself? And can he hide from the authorities? And from his past?
An affecting and absorbing tale of two people afraid of the outside world, can Edie and Jonah rely on each other when they can’t trust anyone else?
[ Guest Post ]
Crossing Over tells the story of an unlikely friendship between an 87-year-old woman with dementia living on the south coast of England and a traumatised Malawian migrant hiding in her barn. On the surface, these two characters have little in common but as their muddled interaction unfolds, hampered by Edie’s confusion and Jonah’s PTSD and bewilderment in the face of a kind of spoken English he has rarely encountered before, similarities between them emerge. In the end, although they may never perfectly understand one another, through their exchanges they move towards a better understanding of themselves.
The inspiration for the story came to me in stages. For a long time, I’d wanted to write about Dunkirk, the point early in the Second World War where British defeat was narrowly averted when many civilians took to the Channel in all sorts of unlikely boats to rescue troops stranded on the beaches of northern France. I knew this would probably involve an elderly character who had been involved in the effort in some way, but I wasn’t sure how to shape this into a story.
Then, in the last few years, when we started to hear about people attempting to cross the Mediterranean, and more recently the Channel, in small boats, a strange connection emerged in my mind. Here were two kinds of crossings that were regarded in rather different ways. While one was usually treated as a source of national pride, the other was seen as tragic and problematic. But were the crossings really so different? And might the people involved in them have more in common than seemed to be the case at first glance?
Those questions formed the starting point for the story that would eventually become Crossing Over. It was fascinating to work on it – I had to learn a lot about British history and the refugee crisis, as well as maize farming and stroke treatment. Research included having lunch with a Malawian village chief and visiting the National Archive to explore how deserters were treated during the Second World War.
The process of watching the novel reach readers has been really intriguing too. This is the first of my books to come out as an audiobook before it goes into print. I was lucky enough to hear the wonderful narrator Adjoa Andoh recording some of it, and I was blown away by the nuance and power she brought to the performance. I hope you enjoy it too.
Crossing Over is available exclusively on Audible from 29 March for £19.99, or free with a 30-day trial that renews automatically at £7.99/month at https://adbl.co/2M9bLFN
[ Bio ]
Ann Morgan’s writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Independent, the Financial Times and the New Internationalist. Her first book Reading the World: Confessions of a Literary Explorer (Harvill Secker / WW Norton) was published following the success of her Olympics-inspired project to read a book from every country throughout 2012. Her bestselling debut novel Beside Myself (Bloomsbury) was released to great acclaim in 2016.
Crossing Over marks the first time Ann Morgan has written for audio.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/A_B_Morgan
If you are interested, I have an interview with Ann Morgan that has just gone live: https://www.bibliofreak.net/2019/06/interview-ann-morgan.html
Will have a read later Matthew. Thank you!