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No Great Mischief Hardcover – 21 Jun 2000
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After being orphaned, Alexander MacDonald comes to Cape Breton Island yearning for family connections and finds himself working in the mines with his wild older brother and caring for another brother, who is dying.
About the Author
Alistair Macleod is currently a professor of English at the University of Windsor, Ontario.
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MaLeod writes in a wonderfully paired-back, economical style. He reminds me very much of the late, wonderful Irish writer John McGahern, indeed, it was through McGahern's praising of MacLeod that I first came across him. If you've not read McGahern then - stylistically - MacLeod reminds me of Richard Ford, Annie Proux or Raymond Carver.
His material is always drawn from the Gallic speakers of Cape Breton and Nova Scotia, descendants of those who for various reasons travelled from Scotland to North America at the time of the clearances. This contemporary story looks at the life of one such family and their wider clan and alternates between telling the story of the clans movement to the story of such a tight nit community as it begins to become more diluted within the vastly wider world of North America.
A great story and easy to read - this can easily be consumed in one or two reading sessions.
At first found the repeated parts in Gaelic slightly annoying, and to be honest, still not sure how much they really added, but a wonderful story of a family, two continents, human nature and opportunity, beautifully written. Haunting and sad, this is not a book to forget.
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