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The Road Dance by John Mackay
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The Road Dance

by John Mackay

Series: Hebrides (1)

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We are 1914 on an unnamed Scottish Hebridean Island. Kirsty's story is told in the third person and we first meet her as a young woman falling in love with Murdo and dreaming of emigrating to America, as many of her fellow islanders have. The start of World War One ruins these plans, as Murdo is called up to fight, along with other young men on the island. The Road Dance is the ceilidh held on the road to see the young men off to war.
The picture is one of dancing and music and then the author introduces a darker side that changes the course of Kirsty's life.
This novel is fairly fast paced and has plot twists that keep the reader interested. John MacKay spends some time describing the village and the Hebridean scenery for the reader and particularly concentrates on the power of the sea. He also introduces other village characters. The novel does have a tendency to over-dramatise; everyone is very coherent in their arguments or brooding and silent, other people are wise and good and none of them seem quite human in their interactions.
However, an interesting read that raises some issues from the time around church and community expectations, whether real or imagined. ( )
  Tifi | Aug 30, 2013 |
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The bond between a mother and her child is the strongest in the natural world. So why would a young woman, dreaming of America, throw her newborn baby into the waves of the wild Atlantic ocean?Life in the Scottish Hebrides can be harsh - 'The Edge of the World' some call it. For Kirsty MacLeod, the love of Murdo promises a new life away from the scrape of the land and the repression of the church. But the Great War looms and the villages hold a grand Road Dance to send their young men off to battle. As the dancers swirl and sup, Kirsty is overpowered and raped by an unknown assailant. Sh.… (more)

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