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3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,116 ratings  ·  195 reviews
When Mike and Gally move to a new cottage in Somerset, it’s to make a new start. But the relationship comes under strain when Gally forms an increasingly close attachment to an old countryman, Ferney, who seems to know everything about her.

What is it that draws them together? Reluctantly at first, then with more urgency as he feels time slipping away, Ferney compels Gally
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 5th 1998 by Harper Collins Publishers Stock Account (first published 1998)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,116 ratings  ·  195 reviews

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Ian Mapp
Feb 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Could be contender for book of the year. Already.

I loved this book and couldnt wait to open it and read it. There are a couple of themes and passages within the book that are attitude changing.

Essentially its a lover story - and although there are parallels to Time Travellers wife, this came first. It also reminded me a little of last house on the strand, with its references to changing landscapes.

We have a newly wed couple - Gally and Mike. We know Gally has problems sleeping but Mike is a
This is a review of both Ferney and its sequel The Lives She Left Behind.

While Mike and Gally Martin are looking for a country home they stumble across a ramshackle cottage to which Gally feels strangely drawn. The whole village seems familiar to her and Ferney, an old man who wanders the local countryside, seems particularly keen to get to know her. Gally feels a mounting connection to the cottage and to Ferney, who must wait patiently until she is ready to hear and accept the truth about their
Silver Thistle
I picked up Ferney as the third book in my '3 for 2' offer at Waterston's, without knowing the first thing about it. The cover drew me and the blurb on the back sounded interesting so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

I'm so glad I was tempted because it's such a fantastic book. It's A love story spanning countless years (and lifetimes. It's not exactly reincarnation, but it's a variation of it....kinda), and I really, really felt for Gally and Ferney, imagining how they must have struggled to find
Feb 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
One of my top ten all time favorites! This story will stay with you long after you finish reading the book.
Feb 09, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Reincarnation fans
Ferney has lived a long time. A very long time. Over 1,500 years.

At least his soul has.

This novel by James Long makes the case for reincarnation, love, time and history. As the book begins, the year is 1990, and 26 year old Gally and her husband Mike take a detour to avoid a car crash, and find themselves in the English village of Penselwood, in front of a delapidated house by the name of Bagstone Cottage. Gally, who has been troubled by nightmares for as long as she can remember, feels a sense
Sep 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
Ferney has an interesting concept, but sadly the book itself was not my cup of tea. James Long obviously has a vast knowledge (or did plenty of research) of the history of the area where Ferney is set and tries to put it all into the book. While interesting at first, sometimes these historical revelations and retelling jarred and slowed the pace of the story down. Rather than focusing on the characters and their development, it felt that Long was more interested in conveying his wealth of ...more
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just absolutely loved this book in every way! I only read it because I was lucky enough to win the sequel on the Goodreads giveaways, and I'm so glad that I did.
It is described as a romance that spans 1300 years with the two main characters being destined to be re-born again and again. However this is no mushy, lovey-dovey romance, but what I would describe as a well written love story.
I can definitely recommend reading this book - it's one that I will definitely read again and probably again
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is great to see Ferney being re-released in the UK. HarperCollins published this book not long before I began working there back in 2000, and I know the publisher felt that it should have had more attention than it got. I read it over ten years ago, and the ending is still particularly vivid. The love story is absolutely original – a forerunner to The Time Traveller’s Wife – with a beautiful English countryside setting. I won’t give any more away, but if you can find it, read it!

NB: There’s
Ellie Holmes
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction-read
A beautifully engaging and beguiling time slip novel that draws you into the bucolic English countryside.

Mike and Gally are looking for a dream home in the country. They find it in a Somerset village. Along with an old man called Ferney who seems tied to the house. Gally and Ferney have a connection beyond rational explanation, a love that has endured down the centuries which we discover as their story unfolds. In the present day they are at very different stages of their lives so it is hard to
Michele Harrod
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ah yes, there it is - in my own original "Goodreads" list which I began when I started writing everything I read into a notebook, with the stars and all! This definitely has 5, with a great big tick right along side them as well! I recall loving this very much! Am very excited to have just discovered there is a sequel. How wonderful. Definitely an original and clever book.
Ms. Yingling
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't know why, but I loved this book. I've bought and loaned out and lost about five copies!
Jamie (ReadsinTrees) Dacyczyn
Hmmm, maybe 3.5 stars? I'm a bit mixed. I thought this was going to be a time travel book for some reason, but it was actually more of a reincarnation book.

Gally and her husband Mike move from the city to the English countryside after she finds herself drawn to a dilapidated cottage in a small village. As they wait for the cottage to be repaired, Gally gets to know an elderly man, Ferney, who lives in the same village. Gradually, we/she comes to learn that she and Ferney have met in a previous
Sebastian Skov Andersen
Well, this was about 400 pages too long
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fifteen hundred years earlier...
Two soulmates make a pact with the aid of a magical stone to not let even death itself, seperate them. However, fate and tragedy have often conspired against them despite their many reincarnations.

Present Day...
It was an accidental detour inspired by one of Gally's frequent panic attacks that sent her husband, Mike, stumbling down a twisting lane to the abandoned country cottage. From the moment Gally's gaze falls upon it, she feels a sense of having come home.
Gill Chedgey
Sep 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Ferney by James Long

This novel is immense in its breadth and concept. In fact it is extraordinary, breathtaking and at times too bewildering to get your head round. And those of us with a spiritual inclination toward karma and reincarnation, past lives and rebirth will be scurrying to meditate on these new possibilities!!

Yet on another level the story is astonishingly simple in terms of contemporary time travel fiction. But, and this is a big but, in my opinion the execution of the tale doesn’t
Linda Rollins
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An extraordinary story from start to finish.

A young woman, with a variety of neuroses, and her husband buy an old, tumble-down cottage because it 'feels right' to her. Along comes an old man named 'Ferney' with a very strange story to tell. The long-suffering husband doesn't get along with Ferney and vice-versa; we find out why as the story moves us along.

The circumstances of this love story could have made for some very uncomfortable reading, but it was written with such delicacy and a real
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved this book!
Had never heard of it - or the author - till seeing it here on Goodreads.
Although I found the beginning a bit dry & confusing, I'm happy I kept going - the story & the history lesson are sooo worth it!
Very happy to know there is a sequel.
Though it seems it might be a while before I can get my hands on a copy, I cannot wait to see were Ferney & Gally's love story will go!!
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely novel. I like books about time when they are almost-scifi, and don't normally read romances. However, this book is far from scifi but I found it was a book that I just couldn't put down. Describing it as time-slip might be a bit of a distraction - it is like nothing I have ever read and it was absolutely wonderful.
It helps if you like a bit of history, although it is not imperative. I also think it will appeal most to those who live in England or at least like England - there is
Cathy Groome
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book had me hooked from beginning to end. Whether you believe in past lives or not, this is a fascinating read, with the main characters skipping back and forth through different historical periods,re-living their past, and unravelling their story as the book progresses. Past life regression, history, romance,mystery and suspence, are all rolled into one, with an unexpected twist at the end. Can't wait to read the sequel.
Paddy Meharg
Jun 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Historical Fiction and Romantic Fiction
Recommended to Paddy by: Mummy
Gally Martin doesn’t know what she wants. Her husband, Mike, is more or less perfect. He’s decent, caring and devoted. Ferney is an old man. Nearly 1,500 years old to be exact. Well his soul is anyway and for some reason he and Gally have a connection.
Now before you cast me aside as just another bloke who doesn’t understand romance novels, I do enjoy them. I’m a fan of the book Time Traveler's Wife (The film not so much) and I do enjoy the concept and overall plot of this book. What ruins it
Lovely book that gives a great view of the English country side and village life. I love stories that mix times and throw in history.

From the Publisher
It was an accidental detour inspired by one of Gally's frequent panic attacks that sent her husband Mike down a twisting lane to the abandoned cottage. Yet from the moment she saw it, Gally felt a peace she hadn't known in years and the inexplicable sense that she had finally come home. And so she had. For as Mike worries and fusses over their
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
I consider myself to be quite a bookworm, and will usually finish a novel, but Ferney is a different matter... This was the most dull and boring book I have ever deemed to pick up. A friend recommended it for me who said it was amazing, so I don't know if this book is like Marmite, but I found it too monotonous and slow that I couldn't finish it. It's been compared to Time Travellers Wife many times, which I don't really understand as Ferney is more about reincarnation than time travel, but I ...more
Trina Hollis
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Lovely! A book full of history between two people reborn throughout history. Ferney and Gally's paths cross over many times, sometimes just missing each other and others catching each other at different times. Can they be together for just one lifetime. The twist at the end was not one I had thought of and I didn't predict the end! that is why I really liked this story. can't wait to read his new one.
Nicholas Clinch
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: random
Found at a thrift store & couldn't put it down. Very strong sense of place, in fact the setting is almost a character. The themes & characters here linger in my memory despite only having read it once, 2 or 3 years ago. Because of the historical detail, I was willing to suspend disbelief as he makes his case for reincarnation. Easily my favorite of the time-travel genre.
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great book, I borrowed this from the library and enjoyed it so much that I bought myself a copy and the sequel. I enjoy it more every time that I read it. History, regeneration and a terrific love story, what's not to love.
Oct 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all-time favourite books. I was left thinking about the story line long after I had finished it. Fantastic concept and lovely, lovely story. I'm not generally into love stories but the idea surrounding this took it far beyond an ordinary love story. If I could buy a copy I would.
Oct 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Really loved this book. A litle slow to start and the sytle of writing sometimes made it difficult to follow but after a few chapters I was gripped.
Jun 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in time travel.
Recommended to Nancy by: Lisa Brown
All things are possible!
Emma Lane
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
this book has just brought more questions must read the next one and find out what happens couldnt put it down easily is a must read x
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I first read this when it was reissued in 2008 and whilst I had remembered the gist of the story, I had forgotten the specifics and as I was just about to start The Lives She Left Behind, it seemed an opportune time to revisit it. I found it enthralling and I wanted to give it 5 stars but just can’t …….. so I gave it 4.8 for the following reasons.

What I thought absolutely excellent was the storytelling, the descriptions, the historical detail (whilst being a little didactic still very
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Aka Will Davenport

James Long was a BBC TV news correspondent until the end of the 1980s. After two years starting and running an international TV station out of Zurich, he returned to England to concentrate on writing, which had always been his first love. He wrote four thrillers, then went back to a story he had begun many years earlier and which grew into Ferney. The book was originally born
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