Occasionally, here at The Terrace, we like to suggest books, films or programmes that we have enjoyed and which we think you will find interesting and thought-provoking. So today we have a review of Emotional Geology, written by Linda Gillard and available in paperback or on Kindle.
Following the lead character, Rose Leonard, as she runs from events in her troubled past to take refuge in a small cottage on the island of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides, the book is described as a ‘passionate, off-beat love story’, but it is much more than that. It deals, in forthright terms, with the terrors of mental ill-health and Rose’s struggle to come to terms with her past. It examines the power of memory; discusses with great honesty what it means to be ‘mad’ and takes you to the very edge, literally, with descriptions of mountaineering that would put any non-adrenaline junky off the idea of climbing for life. In fact, mountaineering is a metaphor for Rose’s life in many respects, as she too has a tenuous hold on on the solidity of what passes for ‘normal’ life.
Another key theme is Rose’s love for textiles, and the stories that are woven in the fabric of the landscape translated into poetry and into her art works. Her art reflects her life and the new love offered by Calum, a fragile younger man. He is a poet who struggles with his own demons, and their relationship, along with the difficulties Rose experiences in her role as mother to a troubled daughter, are central to the story. But there is a real warmth at the heart of the book, as the community of North Uist embraces Rose and her work, and without giving too much away, offer her healing and a way forward.
Linda is the author of seven novels, but Emotional Geology is her first. She lives in the Scottish Highlands, and in Emotional Geology, the landscape of the Scottish island of North Uist is a key character in the story. She has a website www.lindagillard.co.uk and an author page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LindaGillardAuthor.
So do take a look. Emotional Geology is a book that will stay with you long after the final page is turned.