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on 6 June 2017
I bought this book as Kirsty lives nearby when in London and is always very friendly - even when I accidentally shut the door in her face for which I will be eternally embarrassed! I have a lot of respect for her as a journalist and broadcaster and wanted to see what her novel was like.

I was very, very impressed. In fact, I would say that Kirsty has been badly served by the cover. It makes the novel look a bit chick-lit which I think could put some people off. But there is so much more to this novel than the cover suggests. Kirsty succeeds very well in creating a strong sense of time and place, particularly with the two strands of the story weaving as they do between generations. By the end of the book, I really wanted to visit the places she describes. The female characters are very strong and vividly portrayed. The male characters are attractive and compelling although they could perhaps have been more complex and flawed - or perhaps that's more of a reflection on the kind of men I know! A poignant sense of loss or 'hiraeth' runs through the book which I think is a particular quality in the writing of Scottish, Welsh, Irish authors who feel displaced in some way. Her descriptions of individual plants and the natural environment portrayed in the book are beautiful.

This is a great book and well worth reading. But I look forward to reading Kirsty's next novel because whereas this book is a great read, I think the next book, if allowed a little more complexity and a better cover might be truly brilliant.
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on 24 May 2017
As the sections alternated character, I found myself reluctant to leave the one I was reading about only to be equally interested in the other character when I was only a few sentences into the chapter. This was a book club selection which I thoroughly enjoyed and this is really not always the case. I now need to go back and read it again to do my noted highlights and then print them out for talking about at the book club - so love that facility!
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on 27 June 2017
Having been evacuated to Brodick where I lived the first two years of my life, I recently returned there on holiday and was thoroughly enchanted with the whole island. My mother was evacuated with me as an infant and my brothers and sisters in 1939 (from Ruchill) while dad stayed in glasgow in the volunteer fire brigade. When I visited just last year it was really moving to see the heritage museum etc. I found this story really gave me an insight into stories heard at my mother's knee. I would thoroughly recommend it to all.
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on 7 April 2014
Dear Ms Wark - I loved this book!! I grew up on the west coast of Scotland in Ayrshire and spend many a happy day looking at and in Arran. This was a marvellous book and I loved the historical facts about Arran and the Clyde that I never knew. Elizabeth was a wonderful character and I wanted her to leave me her house! I particularly loved the caring, considerate and gentle way you described the sadness of the deterioration of the mum. Please start on a second novel soon and try to keep the West Ayrshire Coast a one of the main characters - an area that is has seen great financial decline over the past thirty years but is still so extraordinarily beautiful.
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on 24 April 2017
Loved this book. The ending was a surprise This book touched on quite a few different topics. Lovely story of Arran
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on 16 June 2017
great
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on 16 April 2017
I would recommend this book to friends and family. Strong characters , Kirsty Wark describes so well. I could imagine how each of them looked. Sad and believable book.
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on 3 May 2017
Very good read.
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A truly wonderful journey through Elizabeth's life & then legacy....well written Kirsty!
The poetry was spectacular! Can't wait to return to Arran & probably read the book again!
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on 16 July 2017
Really enjoyed this book I found the writing both descriptive and very moving.In short I found it very thought provoking
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