East Yorkshire writer Joy Stonehouse celebrates third in her series of family sagas based on our coast and countryside

East Yorkshire-based author Joy Stonehouse is enjoying the success of her third in a series of books set in the area.

By Sue Wilkinson
Sunday, 14th November 2021, 12:33 pm
Joy Stonehouse has written a third book inspired by her family history researches
Joy Stonehouse has written a third book inspired by her family history researches

Readers of Whisper to the Bees will find the same characters she created for Witch Bottles and Windlestraws and New Arrivals. They include Old Ben and Sarah Ezard, the local midwife and healer, will be approaching old age; some, like young Mary Jordan, are just beginning to make an impression.

Joy was educated at Bridlington High School from 1968 to 1970. There she continued to be interested in history and the local area. After retiring from teaching, she researched her family to find that her ancestors on her mother’s side were originally Jordans living in Reighton.

There is a will of a William Jordan dated 1574; he leaves, among various animals, a coat of arms, a helmet and longbow with half a sheath of arrows.

"The parish records of Reighton revealed an interesting period in the early 18th century; this led to the writing of three novels to date with at least one more to come," said Joy.

The book’s title derives from the folk tradition of informing beehives of the death of their keeper and the front cover illustrates one of the main characters – young Mary Jordan.

The plot: Adored by her father, barely tolerated by her mother, she and her dog run wild. With her brother William as an accomplice, her escapades alarm the village. The children pay scant attention to the harsh realities of farming on the bleak East Yorkshire coast.

They revel in the various feasts and the snow and ice of the exceptional winters. However, an unexpected death changes everything. Grief fuels violence and the novel broadens to include Beverley and Bridlington as villagers become involved with smuggling and clash with the law.

All three books are on sale now at Wrays Stationers in Filey and local post offices at Beeford, Bempton, Hunmanby and Flamborough.

The first two books can also be bought on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition. The latest novel will be available from Amazon on November 15.