My Dearest Jonah
137 pages

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137 pages

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'There is an assured precision to Crow's observations that cannot be learned. Novelists who have been honing their craft for decades might justifiably begin to dislike him: sometimes writers are just born. Begin enjoying Matthew Crow now and then, when he's discovered, you'll be able to smugly let slip that you liked his early work...'

Jonathan Trigell 

'Like you I've been feeling forlorn of late. I don't know how long you have to be somewhere before it begins to feel normal, before you start to feel as though you belong... And so all I have is you. Your letters and the thought that somewhere, something good exists in my life. For now that seems enough to get by on.'

Introduced via a pen-pal scheme, Verity and Jonah write their lives, hopes and dreams to one another without ever having met.

Verity is a fragile beauty. When a dangerous sequence of events is set in motion, she tries to explain to Jonah, what led her to unravel so spectacularly. Jonah has been released after years of imprisonment, and embarks upon the quiet life he's always wanted. But then a dark reminder shatters his world, keen to make history repeat itself.

Offering the sole strand of stability in two progressively elaborate lives, they develop a deep and delicate love, a love that becomes clouded and threatened by increasingly dark forces.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 mai 2012
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781908775580
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0000€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Matthew Crow was born in North Shields in 1987.
During his teens, Matthew moved to London to work freelance writing articles and reviews for online blogs, magazines and national newspapers. He quickly secured a literary agent and his debut novel Ashes was published by Legend Press in 2010.
Matthew is one of the most exciting young authors on the literary circuit. He currently lives in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Legend Press Ltd, 2 London Wall Buildings, London EC2M 5UU
Contents © Matthew Crow 2012
The right of the above author to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988.
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data available.
Print ISBN 978-1-9082482-5-1 Ebook ISBN 978-1-9087755-8-0
Set in Times Printed by Lightning Source, Milton Keynes, UK
Cover design by Tim Bremner
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher. Any person who commits any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.
Praise for Matthew Crow:

‘There is an assured precision to Crow’s observations that cannot be learned. Novelists who have been honing their craft for decades might justifiably begin to dislike him: sometimes writers are just born. Begin enjoying Matthew Crow now and then, when he’s discovered, you’ll be able to smugly let slip that you liked his early work... ’


‘I was blown away by Crow’s debut novel, which managed the rare feat of being authentic and poetic, lyrical and believable. Ashes is a raw, rip-roaring depiction of life.’


‘Nestling somewhere between TV shows Shameless and This Is England, Matthew Crow’s debut novel takes us into the heart of the Meadow Well estate, a grim inner-city jungle dominated by thugs, drunks and drug addicts... all told in a fluid style peppered with fine moments of gallows humour.’

It was more than a blowjob, Jonah, you pig – we were in love!
PS. Due to circumstances entirely unforeseen, I am in the process of imminent relocation. My new details will be forwarded forthwith. Until then I would appreciate a swift and appropriate response. V
Dear Verity,
I am truly sorry if you interpreted my previous missive as in any way accusatory. I can assure you this was not my intention and for any upset caused I apologise. That is not to say I entirely condone the recent tangent you seemed to have happened upon. From your description these men sound more reptile than human and their line of work appears - in print alone - questionable at best. That said I have faith in your morals and strength of character (though how I worry for them all the same!) and for what it’s worth your burgeoning affiliation has my acceptance if not my approval. With that I hope we can carry on our correspondence as normal, or at least allow regular service to resume.
This morning in the cafe that same old man sat alone once more in his preferred window seat, his ledger placed at a perfect right angle with the edge of the table, his left hand resting gently on top as though swearing oath. A gold pen rested to the left of his cutlery as rigamortis took hold of two untouched waffles, which formed the altar of his arrangement. Behind him two girls chatted in church tones, every so often craning their necks in a bid to disguise the regularity with which they perused his limited actions.
Unusually for mid morning, two trucks were parked in the driveway along with a long black car whose appearance brought on that insatiable itch of déjà vu . I ignored it and sipped my coffee despite it still being a little too hot. The measured pain as it passes my lips is a sensation I have grown to enjoy. After all these years - and believe me when I say it is many since I was considered a child by even the most mature of acquaintances - the adult thrill of enjoying hot, caffeinated beverages is still one I hold dear.
Eventually he stood up to leave with the languor of those unemployed through choice. I can’t say I wasn’t a little relieved. His presence made me feel observed and vulnerable even with my back to him. I have no basis for my prejudice, it was simply ever thus.
The waitress kindly raised the pot of coffee but I declined her offer. The old man, making no attempt to neither hide nor excuse his uneaten breakfast, packed his ledger into a wide pocket of his coat and proceeded to the counter where, as per usual, he produced an immaculately crisp coupon from his top pocket.
As he left, the girls who had been eavesdropping with all the subtley of a sledgehammer began a panicked fumble to collect their belongings. They threw down a handful of crumpled dollar bills and trotted off into the daylight, inexplicably enthralled by the obsessive routine of that geriatric loner.
The waitress placed the coupon in the till (for all its one-off-small-town-intonations the coffee shop is, in fact, part of an ugly conglomerate. Look to page six of your newspaper today, I’ll bet my last dime there’s a perforated voucher for free waffles when you purchase their bottomless java bucket).
"Poor old Levi," she muttered, ostensibly to herself, though loud enough so that I, the only remaining customer could hear. "Richer than God and tight as a duck’s ass."
I nodded and left.
Two men looked up at me through the tinted windows of the long black car as I emerged from the coffee shop. They shared a glance before driving away. I know I’ve seen them before but can’t quite say where or when.
Like you I’ve been feeling forlorn of late. I don’t know how long you have to be somewhere before it begins to feel normal, before you start to feel as though you belong. I’ve lived here for longer than anywhere else bar one since the age of eleven, yet can’t seem to lose that feeling that I’m a latecomer to a party, and no matter how many drinks I take I’ll still be playing catch up with the masses. You can feel a town’s routine, its ebb and flow, the way the light moves across the water throughout the course of the day, the dip and peak of pedestrians on Main Street, the general consensus on so-and-so; how She used to be pretty until she lost the weight, and how He was always a little too involved with the softball team during his tenure as coach. These things are the familiar, they provide you with a framework, an empty hook on which to hang a life. But to feel involved, to feel part of the machine you observe from the periphery, is a skill that seems to be forever out of reach.
Despite this, I have decided to become the driver of my own fate. And, you will be pleased to hear, have formulated the most basic of plans.
You see, this morning’s mutterings of disgruntlement rolled through the cafe like tumbleweed as I went head to head with the ceramic over two final drops of coffee. The same whispers that had been heard yesterday morning, and the morning before that and, were my memory what it used to be, no doubt the morning before that too. The latest bone of contempt has for some time now been the building site, which has hung like limbo for over a year. Two schools, a small church and a nature reserve which houses, we are told, a butterfly so rare that its existence is still questioned by many zoologists are being demolished in favour of over two million square foot of soulless concrete and glass. ‘Everything you could need under one roof!’ the flyers read when they were sent out during the formative stages of the mall’s fabrication.
A stout Virginian with a silver tongue and the Midas touch promised to give this town the elixir of life in the form of cut price denim and chain restaurants. The day he arrived, the storm that had already claimed three lives and two pickup trucks subsided, and the sun began its long and strenuous programme of recovery. Rumours were spun so fast I often wondered whether or not their orators had written them in preparation, and had merely been waiting for a blank canvas onto which they could smear them. Apparently he was an orphan who owned his first pair of shoes at thirteen and his first bank at twenty-three. Others pointed out with glee that his moneyed ancestors had pressed their initials onto the declaration of independence. Were I a betting man I’d say the truth lay somewhere in the middle.
In the beginning we were in his thrall. His rhapsody was infectious and soon every hard hitter in town was investing in what appeared to be a licence to print money. Of course within four months the bombastic demigod performed a non-too-glamorous midnight run. Two cranes, half a city’s worth of scaffolding and the dusty remains of two schools, a small church and a nature reserve were all that was left of his promise. In his hotel room they found a pair of spats and a half drunk bottle of whisky. He has become our most cherished legend; sightings of him are more frequent and detailed than those of Big Foot himself.
All wasn’t lost though. Soon a conglomerate from upstate heard the news and, checking facts against figures, decided that such an investment may in fact be a hit. Before long it was Virginia be damned – think local and y

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