United Kingdom circa the 1980s——Ursula and Jerry find themselves surrounded by hip hairdos and dominating parents. The future looks bleak if they do not change their lives dramatically. Both are itching to escape their current lives and engage with the wider world.
Ursula’s work as a teacher takes her far away to India to instruct disabled children, while Jerry accepts a scholarship to Magdalen College——but only to “highlight the absurdity of privilege.”
Their written exchanges are deep, political, and full of irony. All the while, Jerry stays committed to Ursula in mind but not in body, questioning their relationship and the nature of their love.
Emily Woof is a graduate of Oxford University. She has written a trilogy of one-woman plays, and is also an actress who has had notable roles in The Full Monty (1997) and The Woodlanders (1998). The Lightning Tree is her second novel.