The Oystercatcher Girl Paperback – 11 Apr 2017
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
Gabrielle Barnby works in a variety of genres including short stories, poetry and children's fiction. She lives with her husband and four children in Orkney, Scotland. Gabrielle's short stories and book reviews have been published in Northwords Now and The Stinging Fly. Various pieces of her poetry and prose are available in local anthologies including Waiting for The Tide, Come Sit at Our Table and Kirkwall Visions, Kirkwall Voices. Gabrielle also edits monthly writing pages in Living Orkney magazine and runs local writing workshops. She has been commissioned to compose and perform poems at local anniversaries and events and last year performed in the Orkney Storytelling festival. In 2015 her first collection of short stories The House With The Lilac Shutters was published by ThunderPoint. In the same year she won The George Mackay Brown Short Story competition. Gabrielle's debut novel will be published by ThunderPoint Publishing in 2017. More information about her work and occasional pieces of flash fiction can be found on her website gabriellebarnby.com. She is also on facebook and twitter @GabrielleBarnby.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The edition I read also has useful notes and questions for book groups at the back, a very practical addition as I’m sure many book groups would find this book meat for some deep discussions.
As the book progresses the time line jumps back and forwards as Christine remembers and recounts events in her family and as a teenager. After a while this time line becomes rather muddled as there is no delineation of the time line in the chapters, rather sometimes in the same chapter it jumps to and fro. The added addition of the spoken dialect adds to the confusion with the reader guessing what some of the words mean – it is not always conducive to research what certain words mean and that takes away some pleasure of reading this novel. There should have been a glossary of terms (reading on a Kindle I would suggest at the beginning) rather than the end. The same words in the dialect are used over and over again but seem to have different meanings depending on context.
Various events take place, some of which are confusing and some of which are stretching the imagination slightly. Added to this misspellings and typos and what could have been a great book becomes, unfortunately, just an average book.
I think it would have a limited readership due to the usage of dialect and the muddled time line.
It is, therefore, a surprise to find Christine sharing her house with Tessa and her young daughter Jenna. Starting work in St Olaf’s primary school, she remembers her childhood, how she and Tessa became inseparable and how they marked the rhythm of the seasons such as Halloween and the November bonfires, as they grew up. But a teenage party changed everything. Secrets separated friends and inevitably Christine resented her troublesome sister.
Gabrielle Barnby writes in detail of everyday routine, of the beauty of the countryside or sordid appearance of a street and of the confusion Christine feels. Tessa appears to be an enigma, a butterfly or an oystercatcher, scampering with the tide. She gave up music on a whim, she shows little sign of grief for her husband and yet she is a caring mother. We see Robbie through the eyes of others and through a bundle of letters, which hint at the secrets we do not understand.
As the story progresses, Christine finds herself endangered by past deeds. Can she find contentment and a sense of belonging or will happiness be elusive? This literary, mindful novel has a spiritual quality and yet is firmly grounded in everyday predicaments of love, loss and secrets.