on 30 May 2003
I first read this novel four years ago and dismissed it as an inconsequential chocolate-box romance. At the time, I was disappointed by the conclusion to Kesson's text but having read it again recently for a university course, I fully reverse my initial opinion and would recommend this book to everyone.
It is the story of a small crofting village in Scotland and its reaction to the temporary housing of three Italian POW's within their intimate community. Kesson illustrates issues of language, community, love, war, and deftly characterises a woman who desires to escape her mundane existence but is forced to realise that her dream of another life can never materialise.
I would draw attention to Kesson's use of the Scottish language and her appreciation of the conflict between the written and oral culture of the nation. Excerpts of Scottish folk songs pepper the already lyrical narrative and exist in harmony with the exotic Italian utterances.
The realistic and national dialogue creates humorous situations that will seem familiar to the Scottish reader. Look, in particular, at page 89 and the young woman's method of clearing the Italians from the field, and the Scots' mispronunciation of the Italian vocabulary. Both instances continue to highlight the problematic language barrier and the community's reluctance to fully accept the visitors into the Scottish way of life.
I thoroughly enjoyed this short read and am a little embarrassed at my initial interpretation (or misinterpretation as it would now seem.) This novel should be read by every fan of Scottish fiction and, at only 123 pages, it would be a lucid introduction to the genre for those who are yet to be acquainted with it.
I would urge you to read this and if you miss the magic of Another Time, Another Place, do as I did and read it again!
on 11 September 2013
I bought this book because i had watched the film (which is based on this book) and decided to buy the book hoping that it would give me a deeper insight into what the characters were thinking and feeling. Unfortunately the book just didn't engage me at all. Unfortunately, I discovered that the characters that i liked very much in the movie were unlikeable in the book. This disappointed me. The movie obviously deviated a lot from what was written in the book in relation to how the characters were supposed to behave and in some cases how they were supposed to look physically. I wish that i had been able to buy it on Amazon kindle because then i could have ordered a free sample of the book before going ahead with the purchase. It really wasn't what i thought it would be.