If I Touched the Earth Paperback – 21 Aug 2012
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Cynthia Rogerson penetrates the complexities of the human heart with this wise, true and tender novel. The way she navigates us through the uncertain landscapes of love and grief is both profoundly affecting and joyously comforting, proving Rogerson to be nothing less than Scotland's very own Anne Tyler. --Alan Bissett
Her setting is a vividly observed Scotland, her subject matter the fragility of human beings. Their distances and intimacies, griefs and joys, are handled with wit, tenderness and sureness of language. Original and accomplished. --Anne Donovan
About the Author
Cynthia Rogerson, a Scot who was brought up in the US, now lives in the Scottish Highlands. She is the author of numerous novels and has been shortlisted for many prizes. Her previous books include Loveletter from my Death Bed, Upstairs in the Tent and A Dangerous Place. Her book I Love You, Goodbye was shortlisted for the Creative Scotland Novel of the Year 2011 and was recently dramatised on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour in March 2012.
Top Customer Reviews
This book looks at how an unexpected major event can change your journey through life, swiftly sweeping you into a completely different destiny. Alison's son Callum, is killed instantly in a car crash, a reality that appears in the news on a daily basis. When we see these accidents occur in real life, they linger for a moment in our minds, occasionally resurfacing through out the day but they do not stay with us for long unless we know the person who has died in such a tragic way. This book closely follows the day to day lives of the people that knew Callum well - the ones most affected by his death, paying close attention to their cycle of grief until the pain begins to ebb a little from their daily existence. Through very poignant and detailed writing, you experience their grief first hand - the angry thoughts, the confusion and the severe loss in their lives will bring tears to your eyes. Each character within the book is affected differently by the passing of Callum, reflecting how in life grief affects each individual in various ways.
The characters are very real and normal; the type of people you might expect to find living next door or within your own family. They are not perfect and they don't try to be, they just aim to be human and lifelike. This book doesn't even offer a happy ending full of solutions, but it does offer reality.Read more ›
I struggled a bit to relate to the main characters because of their decisions, and yet this is part of the reason I enjoyed reading it; it was a chance to empathise with people making choices I wouldn't have made, and seeing where it leads them. There are several fantastic character arcs and Rogerson does well to illustrate the growth and change these characters experience after the sudden death of a young man.
Exploring how death affects us is a universal concept, and as such, it can pack a pretty meaningful punch when approached with care, as Rogerson does here. Stories like this appeal because I believe it's so important to be consciously grateful for every day we have, and every moment we get to spend with our loved ones.
The overall theme resonated with me, as did the denouement. My favourite character was one introduced in the second half (the main character's boss when she takes a job in Glasgow), as he seemed the most selfless, genuine, and generous, and by this point I felt the story began to reach its stride.
It's a quiet story that makes you think and makes you grateful for what you have, and because of that I'd definitely recommend it. Rogerson is very good at getting you into the characters' heads, even if they're not somewhere you necessarily want to be--which makes it all the more compelling.
Middle-aged Alison loses her son Calum in a car accident and has to come to terms with his death and learn to once again find meaning in her life. In a parallel, but converging story, is middle-aged Neal, settled in an apparently happy marriage with Sally, but whose life is also profoundly affected by Calum’s death. So far, so conventional, but in Rogerson’s expert hands this fairly banal plot transcends itself to become a moving and haunting novel, not without considerable humour, about loss and loneliness, unconventional love and reconciliation. Beautifully written, perceptive and tender, the book is an unflinching examination of the consequences of grief but also of the redeeming power of kindness and affection. A delight.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cynthia Rogerson really does emerge here as Scotland's own version of the brilliant Anne Tyler, bringing together her own Scottish/American background. Read morePublished on 1 Feb. 2013 by KDuncan
"In the few seconds after the crash, something strange happens. There's a sudden change in the atmosphere of the material world. Read morePublished on 12 Dec. 2012 by BookGirl