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A Capital Union
 
 

A Capital Union [Kindle Edition]

Victoria Hendry
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description

Review

'A super Scottish novel (and a bold first book) that should have been rewarded; brilliantly researched with an interesting political theme (the SNP in wartime) - mainly set in Edinburgh during the Second World War. A curious and readable mix of the romantic and the hard-edged.' --Alan Warner, Books of the Year selection in Herald Scotland

'Startlingly accomplished ... Victoria Hendry's impressive debut novel wastes no words. The voice of her young narrator is brisk and assured, like youth itself ... As the story gathers momentum so does Hendry's prose, raising itself to poetry as her heroine confronts that famous tension within Scots and Scotland which many of us recognise.' --Julie Davidson, Sunday Herald

'A novel of great intelligence and fluency whose finely drawn characters challenge conventional perceptions of nationality and identity.' --Margaret Elphinstone

'Using fictionalised versions of real [historical] figures of the time, this highly effective debut follows Agnes's nail-biting journey.' --Alastair Mabbott, Paperback of the Week, Herald

'It may be an historically illuminating novel, but it s also a compelling page-turner, with the plot's twists and turns delivering constant surprises. And if you expect big ethical issues from a wartime novel, you won't be disappointed: conscience, duty, loyalty, patriotism, nationality and yes, love and tragedy all loom large, yet frequently in the most unexpected of contexts. In short, A Capital Union is, as the feisty Agnes would say, a braw read from a fresh and accomplished new voice.' --Kritikus

a highly successful debut that we would recommend without reservation. --Undiscovered Scotland

'A Capital Union is a capital idea in the current political climate, particularly. ...This novel shows the terrible strain that ideological and military conflict can place on individuals beyond the battlefield itself.' --Martin Philip, Edinburgh Review

'Using fictionalised versions of real [historical] figures of the time, this highly effective debut follows Agnes's nail-biting journey.' --Alastair Mabbott, Paperback of the Week, Herald

'It may be an historically illuminating novel, but it s also a compelling page-turner, with the plot's twists and turns delivering constant surprises. And if you expect big ethical issues from a wartime novel, you won't be disappointed: conscience, duty, loyalty, patriotism, nationality and yes, love and tragedy all loom large, yet frequently in the most unexpected of contexts. In short, A Capital Union is, as the feisty Agnes would say, a braw read from a fresh and accomplished new voice.' --Kritikus

Product Description

SHORTLISTED FOR THE HISTORICAL WRITERS' ASSOCIATION DEBUT CROWN 2014. 'A remarkable debut … an excellent novel, dramatic and engaging, with a Buchan thrills quality.' Alan Warner. Scotland, 1942. Seventeen year-old Agnes Thorne discovers that her new husband, Jeff, a campaigner for Home Rule, is determined to challenge Westminster over the issue of conscription. War is tightening its grip on the world as the young couple falls under the spell of the independence movement's charismatic new chairman, Douglas Grant. As the Scottish National Party splits, and a court hearing looms, Jeff abandons his work on a Scottish dictionary to fight to save himself and Douglas from prison. When Agnes is let in on a secret that challenges her own understanding of love, loyalty and national identity, boundaries become blurred. BLACKWELL'S BOOK OF THE MONTH

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 433 KB
  • Print Length: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Saraband (26 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CNVQVA2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #159,778 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A capital read 5 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback
A Capital Union begins in 1942. Agnes, a resourceful Ayrshire farmer's daughter, not quite 18 years old, has moved to Edinburgh. Her new husband, Jeff, works at the University on the Scottish National Dictionary. He is resisting conscription; he believes, as a fervent member of the Scottish National Party, that the Westminster government has no power, under the 1707 Act of Union, to raise an army in Scotland. As can be imagined, Agnes and Jeff's neighbours in the genteel Morningside area of the city, having sent their own sons off to war, are not sympathetic.
I knew I would like Agnes, the narrator, from the very first sentence: `My mother said I was like jam in a bad year, sweet but with too many pips, and when I asked her what she meant, she said that some of the things I said got stuck in people's teeth and worried them.'
`A Capital Union' follows Agnes up to 1946 - her `union' with Jeff, and the invoking by him of that ancient union of the Parliaments which has such terrible consequences for them both. Some events and characters here are based on historical fact but this, as the author says, is a work of fiction - and what a work it is. Gorgeously yet economically written, it also packs a punch in its plot. I rushed to finish the book to see how the plot was resolved and went straight back to re-read, this time slowly, to savour the language. And it will go on my shelf to be read again in a year or so. This one's a keeper.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing and spirited take on 1940s Edinburgh 28 Jun 2014
By AliB
Format:Kindle Edition
This is an entertaining book with more incident, adventure and romance than I expected from the title. It's the story of Agnes, a young woman living in Edinburgh at the outbreak of WW2 and how she copes with all manner of conflicting loyalties. Happy to be plucked from her parents' Ayrshire farm by handsome academic Jeff, she is soon disillusioned with life in his late mother's Morningside flat which gets all the more depressing when air raids begin and rationing takes hold. Jeff is involved with the arm of the SNP campaigning against conscription in Scotland and although Agnes develops a romantic interest in their charismatic leader she does not share the nationalist point of view and resents having her husband branded a conchie when he refuses to join up.
Agnes proves a headstrong heroine propelled by her actions into a new life where she will have to make new and important choices. At times I felt the narrative sped too quickly over events and that Agnes decisions were inconsistent - or maybe just needed needed more teasing out, but I liked her distinctive voice and attitudes and how in the end she had come to a deeper understanding of conflict and reconciliation. This novel is well worth reading for its historical setting and a character whose initial naïveté takes her to some unexpected and interesting places.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars truobled times 4 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book ,as the time was the year of my birth, and gave me a real insight as to how thing were in those troubled times
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and thought provoking 10 Sep 2013
By SH
Format:Audio Download
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Fast read because a real page turner but so much to think about as well - relationships, life in WW2, loyalties and much more. Definitely recommend it. Hope there might be a sequel. Will certainly read other writing by this new author. Brilliant.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An accomplished, subtle first nove 8 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback
This sensitive first novel shines an intense searchlight across Edinburgh life during WW2 and the rise of the young SNP. I thought it a brilliant depiction of the unravelling of a marriage, between an ill-suited but idealistic young couple, wrestling with the opposing pulls of personal and political duty. It's spare narrative style makes Victoria Hendry's a refreshing new voice, and beautifully suits the drive, passion and occasional awkwardness of her young heroine Agnes, just seventeen at the outset. Her evocative language, and the acuteness of her perception, cause some moments to just hit the solar plexus.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprise! 14 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The surprise was that I did not expect to enjoy this after the first few pages. There was nothing wrong with those pages, but I thought it was going to be very political and might have covered Scottish history that was unfamiliar to me. However, this was not to be. I really enjoyed the story, although there was quite a lot about the S.N.P, but I felt I learned a lot as well. It also used a lot of Scottish vocabulary, but the author had linked it to its Germanic roots, so that was helpful. The actual story-line was well crafted and there were some very surprising twists in the tale.it is a book that I shall recommend to friends and will read again for myself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well told tale. 2 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Victoria Hendry's Novel is a delight to read set against the backdrop of the second world war and the growth of the Scottish National Party. The story is thought provoking,dramatic,funny and interesting. The author makes you interested in her characters development what will become of them how will the issues of the main protaganists be resolved. It is good to see Edinburgh as a setting for a good part of the story shown in a different light than that in current detective fiction. I would recomend this novel to anyone who likes a good story with strong characters, that likes writing that does not depend on shock value or over dramatisation, . A novel that does what all good novels should do takes the reader on ajourney that they want to see through to the end indeed a tale well told.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Falls short ...
Taking wartime fraternisation as its main theme, this is a tale of a young woman's realisation that her marriage is not what she thought it was. Read more
Published 5 months ago by SunnyB
3.0 out of 5 stars Aa easy read, but not my favourite.
I read this book to the end, but found the plot and the behaviour of the principal character too predictable. Read more
Published 7 months ago by para3drop
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book
Whether or not you live in Scotland or Edinburgh, and whether or not you have any interest in any political debate, (this book is about more important things than that) this is a... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Avid Reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Readable
The book is little slow at the start. Does pick up though and became a fairly enjoyable read. Worth a try
Published 11 months ago by Y. M. Somerville
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I enjoyed this book set in my home city Edinburgh. I found it entertaining and didn't put it down until it was finished.It would be good to find the sequel?
Published 11 months ago by Carters nana
3.0 out of 5 stars Throw the R away
A Capital Union is a novel about conflicting loyalties.

Told by Agnes, a young Ayrshire girl who has found herself in 1942, under the age of 18, married to Jeff, a... Read more
Published 11 months ago by MisterHobgoblin
1.0 out of 5 stars A very dull Book.
Very poor storyline. The story is as dull as dishwater. It did not get my interest in Scottish culture aroused.
Published 11 months ago by Jerry Savage
3.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing love story.
A bit of an expected outcome to this story. Would be exciting to some readers who like a romantic ending.
Published 12 months ago by Revd allsop
4.0 out of 5 stars Magic
A good book to read ,Scottish places I can relate to I travelled to them all with the author .Brilliant can't wait for more of the same from this author.
Published 12 months ago by BY Lanarkshire
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