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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Sandstone Press Ltd (15 May 2014)
  • Language: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Hindi, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Welsh
  • ISBN-10: 1908737786
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908737786
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 241,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

This gentle narrative exists in another time, another place, another world. To most readers it may as well be another planet. Few of us can imagine living without a lavatory, without a secure roof over our heads, without vehicular access to our home indeed most people would now think such privation to be incompatible with civilization. Far less can we imagine raising a young family in such conditions while somehow managing to scrape a living from the sea and a desolate landscape. Yet this is what Eric and Ruth MacLeod chose to do in 1976; to abandon their comfortable home and jobs for Eric s remote grandparental croft on the wild seaboard of the North West Highlands. There was no clear plan, no exit strategy, no safety net of any kind, just a ruined cottage and the irresistible draw of wildness and solitude gift-wrapped in the almost palpable sense of belonging crofting folk possess for their ancestral land. And there was adventure aplenty. In clear, uncluttered writing this is a tale of honest, back-breaking toil in one of the most challenging mountain seascapes of the Highlands; of naivety and disappointment, of storm, disaster and of triumph, yet throughout all of this shines an uplifting and vividly refreshing portrait of personal resourcefulness, unfailing optimism and generosity of spirit. --John Lister-Kaye, author of Song of the Rolling Earth

About the Author

Eric MacLeod was born in Dingwall in the Highlands. His early post graduate career was in Accountancy in London, but he made a life change at the age of thirty to become a crofter and self-employed in a variety of ways. Since leaving the croft he has worked as a Business Adviser across the Highlands. He has returned to the area of his birth with his wife Ruth of 37 years and has two daughters and three grandchildren.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By KLB Kid on 4 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a true story about the life of a family who settled in what must be one of the most remote aeras of Sutherland In North West Scotland.
Not only is it a remote area it is also a very scenic area, surrounded by some of the most beautiful Highland scenery to be found including nearby " Eas A' Chual Aluinn", Gaelic for (Waterfall of the beautiful tresses) which is the highest waterfall in Britain.
It appears that the author is a family decendent of Kerracher and starts by trying to make a new life for himself and his family, quite a hard task to undertake in such a remote area,but as the story goes on you will see it all becomes worthwhile in the long run.
From the begining the trials of getting a caravan, which is to be their initial home, over to Kerracher, to the refurbishment of the house, the long walks over the hill to get to the main road and their vehicle in order to get provisions and in time to get their children to and from school shows just how hard it can be in such a remote area.
However just think of the peace in such an area, well that is until the Highland midge decides to come out to play, when millions of the little blighters attack you on a warm damp evening when there is little or no wind.
As the summer draws to a close there will be the ever noisy sound of the red deer throughout the annual rutting season. Try going to sleep with that racket going on??? Now that is what I would call a good life.
The winter time can be a bit of a challenge with the long dark nights that begin about 3.30pm and finish around 9.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on 1 Nov 2008
Format: Paperback
Everything to make a good read - Adventure, humour, mystery, tragedy, history, geography, nature; it's all there. Once started you want to find out more, laugh with them, celebrate with them, dispair with them, be amazed at the visual imagery created. Once finished you'll want to dip back into different chapters to reread your favourites. Well worth the price. Look forward to the next book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Troy on 9 Jun 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book , but felt it lacked substance. I think more about the wife and children and how they coped, it was a little bit like the Waltons. good book for younger readers.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Marion A. Martin on 7 Oct 2008
Format: Paperback
Loved this book. Once I started I kept reading until I finished. Great story of an 'ordinary' family which chose to face enormous challenges by moving back to their family home in a remote part of Scotland. Even the cover picture conjures up all sort of images - a caravan on a home-made barge! What risks the family took! Read about them for yourself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. McClelland on 14 Jan 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A nice overview of the trials and tribulations of giving up a 'normal' life for living in the wilds of Scotland. I was impressed by the author's tenacity and motivation, especially when times were tough. However, for me it was definitely not a page turner! I think this was to do with the writing style more than anything else - there was little flow, and the chapters seemed disjointed. Agreeing with the other reviewers on here, the writing also lacked depth and feeling, "I did this... then that happened". I'll definitely read it though to the end though.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Glasgow Reader on 7 Mar 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a pleasant, undemanding read which I would recommend. Its the story of how Eric MacLeod gave up his job/career in 1976 to occupy a remote, run-down croft in the West Highlands. This was no "Good Life" escape however, the croft had been in his family for some time and his family connections to the land undoubtedly helped him as he struggled to get established, and to find ways of earning a living. The book is in no way a "how to survive" guide, and I didn't emerge from it with any great insights into the author, or his family. Indeed, I ended up slightly puzzled by the very abrupt end to their life in Kerracher after some of their livestock was killed.
What I particularly enjoyed about this book was his descriptions of the local area, people, wildlife etc. His love of the place shines out clearly in those parts of the book and makes it more enjoyable.
So, all-in-all I'd recommend the book as a pleasant way of passing a few hours - it will no doubt also supply some motivation to visit the area, which can only be a good thing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By aries on 27 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book, but felt that it was a bit 'shallow'. I think the author could have told us more about his family, perhaps more indepth and made the book much more interesting. There was a lot of description about the area and this made it more realistic and I could imagine the house and surrounding areas. At times it was funny and made reading enjoyable.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Wilma Moscrop on 2 Aug 2009
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful book it conjured up so many images for me.
My grandparents lived at Rheantraid and my mother was born there. I have visited it and it is as remote as the book suggests!!
I had heard so many stories this book brought them all to life for me. An amazing read!!
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