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The Camerons by Robert Crichton
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The Camerons (edition 1973)

by Robert Crichton

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2032136,197 (3.83)None
Story of Maggie Drum, a woman from a bleak mining town in Scotland who wants to better her lot in life. She finds Gillon Cameron, poverty stricken but of noble lineage, and they plan to work and starve for 20 years, saving all their money, then buy a business and live like gentry. When Gillon is hurt in a mining accident and the owner refuses to compensate him, a rebellion breaks out among the miners.… (more)
Member:Onefrowningredhead
Title:The Camerons
Authors:Robert Crichton
Info:Coronet (1973), Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library
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The Camerons by Robert Crichton

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One of the best go-to books ever! I must have re-read it over a dozen times. It's about a lowland Scottish coal mining family, but it's written in such a way it strikes a chord about families interactions with one another in a non-typical way, without the overdone drama or sappiness of so many books about poor families. You can relate to each & every character and also learn about early 20th century life in a company coal mining town in Scotland. Comfort reading at it's best! ( )
  PatBrooks | Apr 11, 2011 |
So, historical fiction set in a mining village in Scotland. Maggie, born into a family that has been digging coal for generations, wants more. The first step, she believes, is to find the right husband, and that means going elsewhere. On her sixteenth birthday she sets off for a resort town where she finds and beguiles an empoverished highlander who lives on kelpie soup and seaweed, but he's tall and blond and strong, and he can work. His name is Gillon Cameron.

She exacts a promise from him, that he'll come back home with her and take up coal mining until they've saved enough money to move on. Twenty years later, their five boys are now working in the mines along side Gillon.

Gillon is the most intriguing character here. He makes a life for himself, reads books about coal, comes to understand the geology, stumbles across a tiny and unvisited library and begins to read more widely. He gains the respect of the town and the miners, and he acts quickly and courageously to save the life of a young man caught underneath a slab of coal.

Little by little he comes to a place where he understands he has to challenge to mine owners, which puts him in direct opposition to Maggie, who is so focused on saving money that she can't bear the thought of any disruption. This is the heart of the story, and the resolution is not the one you might expect.

This is a first class historical novel, closely observed, excellent detail, but most of all, a story that works in all its parts.
  rosinalippi | May 7, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Crichtonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Beecham, ThomasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Story of Maggie Drum, a woman from a bleak mining town in Scotland who wants to better her lot in life. She finds Gillon Cameron, poverty stricken but of noble lineage, and they plan to work and starve for 20 years, saving all their money, then buy a business and live like gentry. When Gillon is hurt in a mining accident and the owner refuses to compensate him, a rebellion breaks out among the miners.

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