Young Henry Hodgkin is pushed out of his home by his stepfather and sent to walk 600 geese to market with Torse, a cantankerous Irish Drover. It is Cumberland of a century ago, the roads rough and dangerous, the journey days long.
Man and boy clash. Torse is short-tempered and mean, Henry stubborn. Yet despite warnings that Torse is not to be trusted a bond develops. As they beg their way from door to door selling geese at farms and cottage, Henry learns to face up to his hopes and fears. When the journey ends will there be any going back?
Irvine Hunt's colourful literary life has included five years in Fleet Street on the foreign desk at The Daily Telegraph, film making in Norway, personal assistant to the general manager at the National Film Theatre and a lecturer for the British Film Institute on the origins of early films. For two years he lived in Norway and for seven months trekked round Spain and Portugal. He lives in the English Lake District