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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A capital read
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...
Published 10 months ago by Marjorette

versus
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. She finds herself attracted first to a friend of her husband's and then to 'the enemy'.

Had the potential to be much more, felt the story lacked substance, hence the 3stars.
Published 9 days ago by SunnyB


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A capital read, 5 Sep 2013
This review is from: A Capital Union (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching and well-paced read, 5 Sep 2013
This review is from: A Capital Union (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Although it seemed to disappear all too quickly (I finished it in three days), its themes and sentiments have stayed with me, regularly giving rise to new reflections and recognisable moments in the modern era and my personal life. It's a touching love story but so much more than that, with its historical setting, political elements (all too relevant with the upcoming Scottish independence referendum), and a thought-provoking treatment of the universal themes of the working v intellectual classes, city v country folk, relationships and fidelity, worrying about what the neighbours think of you, and being a stranger in a big and lonely place. Read it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars truobled times, 4 April 2014
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This review is from: A Capital Union (Kindle Edition)
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
This review is from: A Capital Union (Unabridged) (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
This review is from: A Capital Union (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
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This review is from: A Capital Union (Kindle Edition)
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
By 
Mr. John Archibald "Music Man" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: A Capital Union (Kindle Edition)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars nations vs people, 3 Dec 2013
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This review is from: A Capital Union (Paperback)
I picked up this book on the recommendation of a friend who knows I don't normally read romance. I really enjoyed this for the way it evoked a time and a place. I could easily imagine the stoic and careful people of Edinburgh soldiering through the war like the characters in the book. The SNP politics was an interesting angle and I would have liked to see a bit more on the arguments here, but perhaps that would have slowed down the pace. The narrative voice is strong and the themes of nationalism and individual humanity are explored without being heavy-handed. The intensity does slacken somewhat two-thirds of the way through but all in all a very satisfying read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine story, beautifully told ..., 8 Nov 2013
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This review is from: A Capital Union (Paperback)
How good it is to find a novel which takes seriously the issue of conscientious objection and the family and social pressures which must have surrounded politically motivated refusal to go to war. Seen from the viewpoint of a young wife in prim and proper Morningside, this topic comes to life, as so many stresses and tensions come closing in. "A Capital Union" is a very thoughtful read which may well leave you (as it did me) questioning many of your assumptions about the home front during the Second World War. Victoria Hendry's debut fully deserves its five stars! She is indeed - in only the best sense! - a John Buchan for our time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A captivating read!, 10 Sep 2013
This review is from: A Capital Union (Paperback)
I loved this book! Hendry handles the pertinent issues of Scottish nationalism and arguments for devolution with sensitivity, giving the reader a historical portrayal of the inception of the SNP without any bias. But the main thread of the novel was the rocky marriage of Agnes and Jeff, and its unravelling. It kept me guessing with its twists and turns, and the distinctive voice of Agnes held me from the first page to the last. The language is rich with Lallands dialect and had a sometimes sombre feel to it as it navigated through the heavy themes of war, death, and separation. Yet it had many moments of humour, too, giving the reader a beautifully balanced portrayal of 1940s Scotland in the midst of immense change. Seriously wonderful, and seriously worth a read!
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