Pub Walks in Underhill Country
A cunning, hilarious and heartbreaking debut novel that takes the form of a guide for walkers but is really a whole lot more.
“If your companion is walking far ahead, it can be fun to close one eye and hold her between your thumb and forefinger, taking care in case she slips from your grasp, or, conversely, you crush her altogether!”Graham Underhill is a much-loved local watercolourist, ale enthusiast, and self-published guidebook writer – the ‘Wainwright of the West Midlands’. But our narrator and guide is a rambler in more ways than one, and what begins as a set of walk instructions soon gives way to what Graham would rather talk about – mostly, his marriage to the beautiful and erudite Sunita.When a well-connected environmentalist and would-be MP takes an interest in Sunita’s childhood memoir Graham’s happiness seems complete. Or it would, were it not for the shoddy state of the local footpath network. And inconsiderate mountain bikers. Litter louts, pretentious landscape photographers, idiots who consider light trainers suitable for mountainous terrain, and the Highways Agency’s plan to build a bypass through his house. At least he has his beloved Sunita. Or does he? Graham, it turns out, is not always the most reliable guide. And neither is ‘Underhill Country’ the sleepy idyll it seems…Cunning, hilarious and heartbreaking, Nat Segnit’s debut novel is a guidebook to stubborn optimism in the face of marital – and environmental – meltdown.