Top critical review
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Good writing, lacks substance
on 30 January 2012
Having spent seven years living in California with her scriptwriter father, our young-woman narrator returns to her family roots in Scotland, only to find that the cousin she thought she'd always loved has taken after his own wayward father and is heavily in debt through gambling. Things don't work out as planned (I can't say more without giving too much away!) but a family friend comes to the rescue.
This is a short novel and not much of a plot, but some good writing, characterization and sense of time (1970) and place.
One serious failing though (otherwise I would have given three stars) - we start off on the beach in California, where we're introduced to a young surfer, a potential love interest, only to have him dropped from the story after a couple of pages, never to return. That's something writers are not supposed to do, and adds to my suspicion that this is a very early novel that didn't get published until later novels sold well.
I really think it would have been in the author's interest to have spent more time on this and made a lot more of the story.