Customer Review

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the place, 16 April 2010
This review is from: Corrag (Hardcover)
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I find this review troublesome and difficult to write. You see, I've just finished this book in under three days, which is Usain Bolt speed for me and incredibly rare. It was yesterday that I reached the final page, and in some ways I feel depressed writing about it today. Depressed that I'm stuck in front of a PC in a house when I want to be back in the Scottish Highlands that the book took me to all too briefly for my liking.

I spent my first and most cherished childhood holiday in a caravan at the parks of Appin. I remember the day my family drove to Glencoe. I was mesmerised by the mountains and the sunlight on them, the way they appeared to open up and welcome me. The opening paragraph (save for Charles Leslie's first 'prologue'-esque letter to his wife) of Corrag had the exact same effect on me, and I was (forgive me Father, for I'm about to pun unintentionally) bewitched by every page after.

I've read other reviews, both from fellow Amazonians and from professional critics, that accuse the book of dragging on, of being a hard slog, and claiming that Fletcher could have done with an editor. And while I can take these concerns on board, it's all in the eye of the beholder. Sure, Corrag does take more time getting to the point than your average politician - if you consider the point to be the Glencoe Massacre, that is. But the title is not 'The Glencoe Massacre' (although that atrocity is stitched perfectly into the narrative's fabric) and I for one would be more than happy to read the outtakes of Corrag's life story. If you feel differently, I fear you may be a little dead inside.

The eponymous heroine (for she most definitely is a heroine) has instantly found a place amongst my favourite literary creations. Her way of living also strikes a chord with contemporary issues of environmental health, materialistic greed and prejudice. I have seen Sylvia Plath mentioned in relation to Fletcher more than once, and Corrag does, I'm sure, appeal to a similar market with its overriding themes of loneliness, difference and persecution, as this tiny, kind woman who tells us her tale waits to be burnt alive.

This book could become your new best friend. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go outside.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Apr 2010 14:31:22 BDT
FINALLY! By that I mean finally someone has put into words exactly how I feel about this book. THere have been far too many reviewers commenting on the fact that it could have done with a lot of editing, that it takes ages to get to the Glencoe massacre etc etc, but what these people forget is that Corrag is not meant to be historic fiction - it is moreover a love story, with the historic event and people entwined within. And to those saying it could have done with editing, Corrag repeats herself etc etc I say this. Surely what Fletcher has done is depict with utter accuracy the dialogue of a young woman who has just witnessed so many atrocities, had her heart shattered, seen the place and people (the first people since her mother) who have accepted her for who she is all destroyed. Add to this the fact that she is in a cold, damp cell recounting the story to a priest on a daily basis surely readers and reviewers understand that Corrag's voice is a true representation of how anyone would speak if in that position - you too may well go over some feelings, say some things again as the days go by and death comes closer.
I also adored this book and am so sad that it is over. Every smell, sight and sound that Corrag experienced, I experienced too and I was desperate for the story to continue to find out where she went and what she did! Fletcher captures what is an incredibly special part of the Scottish Highlands with accuracy, passion and magic and transports the reader into the heart of this region.
In my opinion, Susan Fletcher is one of THE best authors around at the moment and I am already looking forward to her next book.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2010 20:17:35 BDT
Fantastic comments, they'd make a great review of their own!

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Nov 2010 16:10:55 GMT
A. Wayong says:
Craig, thank you for your review. I just heard about this novel & your comments made me very intrigued.

From your descriptions, the book reminded me of Monica Furlong's books. She was a children's author, and her characters and descriptions of nature and prejudice were among the most vivid I have ever written. Furlong's books are worth tracking down if you are seeking more novels along this vein.

Posted on 19 Mar 2011 18:50:06 GMT
Thanks Craig, you just expressed what I feel. Thank you.

Posted on 14 Aug 2013 00:07:22 BDT
Lovely review, thank you. I will definitely read this book.
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