2.16 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
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Product details

  • Paperback | 544 pages
  • 120 x 180mm
  • Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • Corgi Childrens
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0552121223
  • 9780552121224

Review Text

In spite of the subject - the early 19th-century Scottish Clearances, during which landed lairds evicted poor tenants from their ancestral cottages to clear the land for more profitable sheep raising - this is a bouncy business, not at all drear. Herron, who has written of civil conflicts before (The Whore Mother, 1974; The Bird in Last Year's Nest, 1973), has a high old time here with lusty ladies, the darkest of villains, and stout champions of the people. Davy, our hero, is an apprentice lawyer; he's related to the hideous old scoundrel who's doing the clearing, Sir Malcolm; and he's the son of Duncan, who's leading the victimized clan in its sad, waning days. Thus, Davy has a solid foot in both hovels and Edinburgh's high society. And, when not helping Duncan to scrounge up money through illegal whiskey so that the dispossessed may migrate to America, Davy has (or could have) unlimited access to the beds of: humble Mary, who will bear his child; Fionna, a Boadicea, who hates husband Sir Malcolm; her sister Elizabeth of insatiable desire; and the lovely Lady Sarah, wife of Sir Malcolm's unpleasant son. Eventually, a number of souls do make it to the New World, but before then a villainous factor kills Davy's mother in a stone-club-and-gun melee, so Davy kills the factor - and is just barely acquitted. And after much pounding about and flaring tempers, the finale finds Davy, legal whiskey-making, and Lady Sarah in happy combine. With tuneful oratory, sex, and righteous indignation - 'tis as much noisy fun as a hundred pipers. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

6 ratings
2.16 out of 5 stars
5 0% (0)
4 17% (1)
3 17% (1)
2 33% (2)
1 33% (2)
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