Disappointing; the language is clear, concrete, and poetic, and the dialogue reproduces Scots speech wonderfully. But after a promising first chapter, it loses momentum. Like a tarpaulin-covered car being uncovered, hints of a plot come into view at about page 100. The trouble is, by that time, it was too late: the people alone just aren't that interesting. The constantly shifting settings, times, and points of view didn't help, either. After a while, keeping them straight just seemed like more effort than it was worth. The author promises us that "this sort of thing (his grandmother exploding) keeps happening in my family." But it doesn't.
*** *** *** ***
As an alternative, read "Sunset Song," the first of Lewis Grassic Gibbon's "A Scots Quair" trilogy.
In a word. Brilliant
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