9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Enthralling and beautifully written,
This review is from: Island of Wings (Paperback)
This book is difficult to put down as it is written beautifully and has a strong narrative drive. There are times when the characters are a little wooden because the author is walking a tightrope between fiction and history. However, Neil is wholly believable as a product of 19th century evangelism in Scotland, with a mass of contradictions and unpleasantness that he can justify by appeal to the authority of Heaven, Edinburgh or the workings of his own head. He is a character who is still recognizable today. Perhaps Lizzie is too, though the contemporary limitations imposed on her by duty, belief and geography are easier to overcome. There are a number of cultural references where the editing should have been more careful. For example, Paisley never had a Mayor (p. 10), there are mis-spellings of Gaelic (e.g., p. 62), and the famous St Kilda Surname of Gillies is rendered as "Gilles" throughout. However, reading the details and consequences of religious fervour chilled and delighted me, and awakened memories from many decades past. As a product of the manse, I remember it well.