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Wild Harbour by Ian Macpherson
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Wild Harbour (1936)

by Ian Macpherson

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Three stars and yet, I'm glad I read it. Not the best reading I've experienced, but very interesting information. Hugh and Terry are married and live in pre WWII Scotland. As they see others joining up they have to decide: will they support the war, will they kill, can they support the war without killing? The questions they must face are alone worth the read. Can they survive being ostracized for their beliefs? Can they survive killing others? Can they survive, period? So the basic question seems to be what will be more difficult, killing or not killing? How will they fair if they live against their own beliefs? Heck what ARE their beliefs? They are going to learn a LOT about themselves because of course, it is a lot more complicated than that.This fictitious account describes their life literally in the wilds, scrounging for food and shelter and making a life for themselves. Will they stick with their initial decision? This is a multi-faceted story. ( )
  mkboylan | Mar 12, 2014 |
This short novel was written in 1936 but set in 1944. Hugh and his wife Terry want nothing to do with the coming war and the violence that it promises, so they escape to hide in the mountains of central Scotland. The first part of the book describes mostly their efforts to survive in the wilderness. Slowly though, there are signs that the war has gone as badly as they expected and they have to face what they have avoided.

This is one of the more obscure novels from the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list, which is too bad, as I think it would appeal to a wider audience. There is something haunting about this story, and I know that it will stick with me. Probably its weakest part for me is some of the dialogue, as the two main characters spoke as if they were in panic mode through most of the book (but didn't act panicky).

Recommended for: Fans of the Canadian TV show "Survivor Man." People who like literary adventure stories.

Note: There is a typo in 1001 Books Before You Die, as it says the book is set in 1914 instead of 1944. That would change the whole meaning of the book. Also note that the Canongate Edition, the Introduction by John Burns contains major spoilers. ( )
2 vote Nickelini | Feb 22, 2014 |
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