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Wide Eyed by Ruaridh Nicoll
A remote fishing village in Scotland seems the perfect place for Betsy Gillander to abscond for a few days with her fiancÃ©. There, in a landscape marred only by a vast MoD range away to the west, the pale winter sun lights up this next step in her happy and structured life.
But then a violent storm wraps itself around the village and for three days the couple are trapped in their hotel. The enforced intimacy opens Betsyâs eyes to the indolent cruelty of the man sheâs agreed to marry, while in the hotel bar the locals gather, increasingly anxious for news of a boat still out at sea.
By the time the sun reappears, Betsyâs fiancÃ© has left her and she is adrift in a community shattered by the loss of the boat and seven of its sons. The pain of her break-up in the face of such tragedy produces in her a terrible guilt and Betsy finds herself drawn into a cloistered, close-knit community with a morality far beyond her understandingâ€¦
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â€˜â€˜Emotionally-wroughtâ€¦in turn lyrical and violent, fable-like and gutsyâ
â€˜Lyrical and compellingâ€¦Another triumphâ
â€˜Absorbingâ€¦while the narrative is well-crafted and builds to a bravura climax, it is in the evocation of atmosphere, that elusive art, that Nicoll really earns his spursâ
â€˜A quietly spooky taleâ€¦unsettling and oddly exhilaratingâ
â€˜Nicoll writes intricate, accurate prose and offers alluring descriptions of the Scottish landscapeâ€¦The landscape of Wide Eyed is beautiful and the situation is fascinatingâ
About the Author
Publication date1st September 2004
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CategoriesModern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
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