Most helpful positive review
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A fantastic, moving novel - if hard to read at first!
on 20 July 2007
Many people seem to think this novel is "about" Chris, the central female character. Personally I thought it was about rural Scottish life in the early 1900's, and how a particular community comes to be affected by issues far outside of its own borders and its own control.
The close relationships and way of life within a community such as this, means that even very trivial events or actions carried out by an individual all carry great importance to others. Gossip and rumour necessarily play a significant role in the novel.
The unique writing style of the novel does initially make it very hard to read. Sentences are long, and are often not restricted to a single subject or idea, but once the reader learns to engage with the narrator and understands the style, it is like being told a story by a trusted friend.
By the end of the novel, the reader can closely identify with each of the characters, and as their individual fates are decided, it is impossible not to feel a high degree of sympathy for each of them. I personally found it a very moving read - but must admit that had I not had to study this book as part of my degree, I may well have put it down early on and not picked it back up - that would truly have been a great shame. Stick with it, and you will be glad you did!