Travelling in the Dark by Emma Timpany @FairlightBooks @EmmaTimpany

Winner of the Hall & Woodhouse DLF Writing Prize 2019

Book blurb

In the aftermath of a devastating earthquake, Sarah travels back to her home town with her young son. Delays and diversions take Sarah on an emotional journey as she’s forced to return to well-known places echoing with painful memories from her youth.

Set in the wild, beautiful and unreliable landscape of southern New Zealand, Emma Timpany’s novella is an evocative story of a woman coming to terms with her past and forging a brighter future.

My thoughts

In light of an upcoming blog on Emma Timpany’s latest book I wanted to check out and read some of her writing. Well, what a wonderful find Travelling in the Dark has been.

This novella brings an intriguing main character in Sarah who is travelling with her son from England back to her homeland of New Zealand which has just suffered from a devastating earthquake. She is returning to visit a friend who recently lost his wife.

We find Sarah travelling at night through the air with her son. Sarah begins to recall parts of her history, her life back in New Zealand before she met her ex-husband and moved to England.

Through alternative passages between the past and the present we learn about Sarah – her family relationships, why she moved away, her friends, loves, her hopes, dreams and heartache.

With descriptions of New Zealand which are just beautiful, we travel along with Sarah and her son living the ups and downs of life now and, for Sarah, in the past. The journey encounters difficulties and diversions but Sarah is determined and steadfast in her desire to move forward into her past in order to build a better future.

The ending, for me, is one of possibilities and hope – what more can you wish for?

Isn’t it amazing how so much can be found in short form writing? Travelling in the Dark is an excellent example and well worth reading.

I’ll be hosting a guest post from Emma Timpany on the 22 June why not come and take a look. With more about her latest book on 23 June when I share my thoughts with you.

Book: Purchased

So that’s another book, my fourth, for 20 Books of Summer Cathy from 746Books is the mastermind and host behind this annual event.

It’s optional to pick 10, 15 or 20 books. It runs from 1 June to 1 September and it’s a very easy going challenge which is why I like it so much.


Published: Fairlight Books (11 July 2018)

Buy: (affiliate link) | Hive | Your local bookshop | Waterstones | AmazonSmileUK

Winner of the Hall and Woodhouse DLF Writing Prize 2019

Travelling cover

Long listed for Not the Booker Prize 2018 | A Big Issue Summer Read 2018

Emma Timpany (Author)

Author: Emma Timpany is the author of the Fairlight Moderns novella Travelling in the Dark, which won the Hall and Woodhouse DLF Writing Prize 2019.

Emma was born in Dunedin, New Zealand but moved to England in the 1990s, after receiving a BA degree in Anthropology from the University of Otago. Her 2015 short story collection The Lost of Syros was longlisted for the 2016 Edge Hill Prize. She is co-editor of the 2018 short story anthology Cornish Short Stories: A Collection of Contemporary Cornish Writing (The History Press). Her stories have won competitions including The Society of Authors’ Tom-Gallon Trust Award and have been published in literary journals in England, New Zealand and Australia. She is a member of the New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa (PEN NZ Inc). Emma is married and has two teenage daughters. She lives in Cornwall.

From 8 May to 5 June 2021, Emma taught an online course, Exploring the World of Short Stories, for the Literature Works Quay Words programme celebrating Exeter as a UNESCO City Of Literature.

Read Fairlight Books interview with Emma here.

Emma Timpany ‘s website | Twitter


Short story collections

Three Roads (Red Squirrel Press, 2022) | Over the Dam (Red Squirrel Press, 2015) | The Lost of Syros (Cultured Llama Press, 2015).

Emma Timpany is co-editor of Cornish Short Stories: A Collection of Contemporary Cornish Writing (The History Press, 2018.)


Travelling in the Dark (Fairlight Books, 2018) is part of their series of Fairlight Moderns.

Emma Timpany Books

7 Comments on “Travelling in the Dark by Emma Timpany @FairlightBooks @EmmaTimpany

  1. Pingback: Writers on Research, LBRB and a Litfest – Emma Timpany

  2. Pingback: Three Roads and other stories by Emma Timpany #ThreeRoads @RedSquirrelPress @kenyon_isabelle @EmmaTimpany – Love Books, Read Books

  3. Pingback: 2022: Another summer another #20booksofsummer22 – Love Books, Read Books

  4. I’ve read a couple of novellas from the Fairlight Modern series. They just go to show a book doesn’t have to be long to fit a lot of meaning into it.. This one sounds good too.

    Liked by 1 person


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