Times go by and whether you like it or not. A fact is that some things remain while others die. It is an unwritten law about living, but the changes can still be a shock to many people who thought they had their lives planned. It is simply because time is running by. “Because It Is Running By” is written by Jo Lloyd in 2009 and the story deals with the young man, Wil who has to realize that the times are changing and the bubble he has lived in has burst. The story has a 3rd person narrator who has a limited omniscient point of view with focus on the main character Wil.
The narrator knows the whole story of Wil and the other characters and what there has taken place earlier on. We do not get inside of their heads in connection with deep feelings and thoughts. Instead the narrator makes comments and uses many flashbacks to build up the story. This gives the reader an opportunity to think about the direct and indirect information which is given instead of just letting it past though. The novel consists of many dialogs which float in with the text because they are not put in quotation marks. That almost makes the whole novel one big conversation with the narrator as the mouthpiece.
In spite of the many flashbacks is the story chronological and starts in medias res on the arrival of Edie and ends with her leaving when the summer is over. The scene is set in the country in England. Edie has arrived to help Wil and his mother for the summer at their farmstead where they drive a bed and breakfast. After the family has lost the father to throat cancer has it only gone downhill at the farm and it has turned more into a bed and breakfast. The mother says: “The B&B’s the only thing making money” (p. 1, l. 8). Wil has taken over the agriculture after his father and has a dream of having success with it.
Therefore he thinks that it is stupid to hire Edie as a maid at the B&B with the little money they have. He frowns at the girl from the city and has scruples when she uses the caravan which his family has used in the holiday when his father was alive. But after a while he mitigates and goes out with her. It develops into a relationship over the summer and ends when Edie has to leave. The story is build up around this relationship and through their actions and dialogs the reader is introduced to their personalities. Edie and Wil are described as opposites. Wil calls himself a “fucking peasant” (p. , l. 166) and seems a bit primitive while working at the farm. He has tan from the sun and Edie has pale skin. He has not gone to college and lives his life at the family’s farm. She comes from London and has gone to college. He is regular at the local pub and drinks beers till he gets drunk. On the other hand Edie drinks Pernod and has a fancy accent according to Wil (p. 5, l. 168). Edie wants to go to Morocco after the summer and Wil has never even been abroad. Wil gets angry when they talk about the difference between them and feels an attack from Edie.
He thinks that the city girl is looking down on him and thinks he is primitive and inexperienced. However Edie says that: “I think you are where you are [… ] It’s a good thing” (p. 5, ll. 171-173). That is a good point Edie brings up because Edie and Wil come from different backgrounds and do not have the same starting-points. Her message is that you have to seize the possibilities you are given and make the best of it. Wil has been given the farm and it is his responsibility now. He wants to make it work and has therefore given up school.
He follows in the footsteps of his father and works as the man in the house. An ironic aspect is that the father died because of throat cancer and now Wil is turning in the same direction while smoking all the time. It is sad but true. Edie is leaving the farm and is heading for a great experience in foreign countries and Wil stays where he always has been. Wil is crushed after this eye-opener and it makes him think of all the girls he has been with and finds the flaw they all have in common namely that they all have been to cheerful and too open.
These two characteristics are the opposite of him and therefore are they flaws in the eyes of Wil. He cannot permit himself to be too cheerful and open when he contemporary has to take care of the farm. That is the reason why he gets hurt when he realizes that they are too different and move in diverse directions. On the top of page 6 he compares himself to lettuce with the cold leaves on the outside and the heart safely kept inside. The summer has ended and they have to split up. The novel “Because It Is Running by” has many references to the title. It” in the title refers to “time” and the time is running by. As mentioned before the changing times have consequences for the relationship between Wil and Edie but the time also has an effect on the farm itself. After the death of the father has the farm suffered. It has become a bed and breakfast because Wil has no luck with the farming. Wil and his mother’s home is reduced to the kitchen and the caravan which had been basis for many good family holidays has not been used for years. They work hard but do not achieve success because the time has overtaken them.
To put another text into perspective you could talk about “Mule Killers” by Lydia Peelle. This novel also encircles the life at a farm which is going though some drastic changes those have consequences for the people who live there. Time plays an important part in both novels and as said in the end of “Because It Is Running By”: “[… ] things living, things dying, things continuing in the same way” (p. 6, ll. 203-204). This statement is undeniable. You cannot change the fact that time alters things into something new. Over time Wil learns to love Edie but he also realizes that his love cannot remain forever.