Hall has said that the Cumbrian floods of 2005 inspired The Carhullan Army. Her first novel, Haweswater, anticipated those floods and is for me in many ways the more interesting novel. It explores the same Cumbrian landscape, showing the stark beauty of villagers’ lives in the valley of Mardale. People, time and place are torn apart by the arrival of a representative for Manchester Waterworks who announces plans to flood the land to create a reservoir. The casual destruction of the whole valley is based on reality, vividly dramatised in the novel. The personal and the ecological intertwine through the tragedy Hall depicts. As a historical novel, Haweswater is not about climate change, but it is an impressive portrayal of human impact on landscape, and shows how fruitful this subject is for ‘literary’ writers. Most of importantly, the novel has none of McEwan's diffidence about ideas: it’s bold, roaring.