The Fields of Thyme



In the closing months of 1943, the Americans were arriving in the South Hams of Devon, England, to begin military rehearsals ahead of the Normandy Invasion in June 44’. It was a huge operation by any standards, but along the rural coastline of Slapton Sands, it brought a major clash of sensitivities with the people and the land.


The Fields of Thyme is about a young and socially unsuccessful farm boy, Tom Skinner, to whom only one thing really matters; the safety and survival of a butterfly habitat which is home to the Large Blue species. With the bedding in of the military over a large area of countryside, the habitat becomes locked within an Exclusion Zone; into which it becomes foolhardy and extremely dangerous for unauthorised people to enter. However, this will not stop the local lad, with local knowledge and native skills, from trespassing and plotting to disrupt the occupation; in which cause he’s joined by Charlotte Kingsley, a pretty young lass, whose parents own a local pub in East Prawle. There are several other key and interesting characters who help shape the story, and none more so than a young coloured GI, Leroy Grant, whose arrival brings added and huge complications; some of which are not very difficult to anticipate!


If you’d care to reflect on the hymn, ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’, you’ll be well placed to consider the catalogue of emotions which travel through this narrative, including from dark to optimistic, spiritual to hellish, real to surreal, poignant to cruel; hilarious to tragic; until the story careers into the realms of believable insanity. Not withstanding all of this, you might still conclude to wonder, if the events you joined with, might just have happened; or actually did.

Rights Information

Worldwide rights available. 

Marketing Information


With the original song, ‘NOW MAMA’S GONE’

Composed by AL DUTTON

Readers of the book will find reference to this song in the text, with the full lyrics offered in addendum on page 402. Better Particulars are available on the publisher’s website, to include the suggestion that apart from the CD adding interest to the marketing of the book, so it might also sow the seed of enthusiasm for the story to be made into a movie.


READER REVIEWS as of 4th August

• Some very ingenious ideas, and I particularly liked the way the pace was ramped up in the final chapters so it became almost un-putdownable....

• An informative and gripping novel at times.... It was so beautifully written.

• An original, charming story (with) fantastical scenes throughout. I can see a movie in it.

• A real good read...would make a good film.

• Its characters from local people to the Americans really come alive. (His) description of the goings on inside the head of one of the main characters is a little scary, but none the less believable. This is a good read.

• I have just finished your book, and really enjoyed reading it. I was living in Galmpton during the war ....I can remember the first time that I actually carried a US rifle. It was nearly as tall as me... and there were bars of real chocolate !!!!!!!

• Thoroughly enjoyed your book, and trust you’re now employed in the follow up.

• Where do all those thoughts and ideas come from......?

• A fascinating interplay between characters and the rehearsal for the D.Day Landings.

Bibliographic Information
  • Pub date: January 2013
  • English
  • 9780957396500
  • United Kingdom
  • Paperback
  • Primary Price: 12 GBP
  • Pages: 402
  • Neaptide Projects (Salcombe) Limited
  • Readership: General
  • Publish State: Self-Published
  • Responsibility: David Cohen
  • Edition: First
  • Page size: 80ssm opaque (210 x 135) mm