HarperCollins Publishers (AU)
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Corrag Kindle Edition
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Praise for Oystercatchers:
'Fletcher has a remarkable talent with words…her approach to the world is side-on, not direct; she is attuned to the ambiguities, the spaces, the gaps left in language, the things that are not spoken; she imbues inanimate objects with a life of their own, a history and a personality and a voice. Fletcher is the woman writer par excellence: intelligent, perceptive, intuitive…British readers looking for a local equivalent to Alice Munro won't have to look much further…She is a highly talented writer and fully deserves the acclaim she has received - and the popularity that goes with it.' The Scotsman
'Oystercatchers is a stunning novel…both emotionally discomfiting and romantic; at times puzzling, it is profound, beautiful and redemptive. Oystercatchers is the work of a seriously talented young author in possession of one of the most poetic and original voices working now.' Joanna Briscoe, Guardian
'Her prose is extraordinarily lyrical: haunted, dreamlike and precise, reminiscent at times of Sylvia Plath…Fletcher's words are undeniably beautiful and her themes are profound…a haunting novel.' Sunday Times--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
Susan Fletcher was born in 1979 in Birmingham. She is the author of the bestselling Eve Green and Oystercatchers.--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- File size : 475 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 367 pages
- Publisher : Fourth Estate (4 March 2010)
- ASIN : B003ATPQGG
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: 207,466 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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In this novel, through two main characters - one an historical figure, the other a semi legendary one - the story of the massacre is told.
Charles Leslie, an Irish Jacobite, wrote one of the few detailed contemporary accounts of the massacre `A Letter From a Gentleman In Scotland'. In the novel, he is gathering evidence about the massacre and travels to Inveraray where Corrag is imprisoned. Corrag is apparently a witness to the massacre and has also been condemned to death by burning as witch.
While Leslie is initially disgusted by Corrag and her squalid cell, he agrees to a bargain with Corrag. Corrag will tell him what she knows if he will first listen to her story from the beginning. The majority of the novel is taken up by Corrag's story of how she fled to north to Scotland, and eventually to Glencoe, after her mother, an herbalist, was condemned as a witch. Once in Glencoe, Corrag becomes involved in the lives of Clan MacDonald and is called on as a healer. Corrag's narrative is interspersed with Leslie's commentary in the form of letters to his wife.
As Corrag tells her story, Leslie becomes more sympathetic towards her and more respectful of her. Her joy in the natural world is an important part of this story and by the time the telling of the massacre occurs, Corrag's life is as important as the events of Glencoe.
I loved this novel: it is full, it is complete and Corrag's voice deserves all of the words it uses. It is work of literary historical fiction: as remarkable for its language as it is for its story.
`Who we were is not who we are, these days.'
Top reviews from other countries
If you go into this wanting mainly to read about the Glencoe massacre, you will be disappointed. Although it's a central part of the overall story, the actual events of the massacre come late in the story and are relatively short. But if you go into this interested in what life would have been like for a social outcast back in the 17th century in rural Britain, and if you want to be transported back in time to the wild and raw Scottish Highlands in a way that is most evocative and (I thought) very accurate (I've been to Glencoe, and the descriptions of the scenery and nature are spot-on), then this book has nailed it. Like others, I would love to go back to Glencoe and re-read this book there.
Though I think the author has done a stellar job of making the characters seem real, and of drumming up empathy for Corrag in particular, and is a master with descriptive language, some suspension of disbelief is necessary to allow the melding of fact and fiction to work in the plot - especially, as some have mentioned before, in the kinds of sensitive political stuff Charles Leslie includes in his letters to his wife. And although the whole book is leading up to Corrag's role in the massacre, when it eventually gets there it feels a bit crowbarred in, with some rather unrealistic points. However, if you can ignore these tiny blips, the book's strengths more than make up for it.
Overall, the descriptions are very atmospheric and evocative of a time and place, and the writing so well done that I felt deeply moved at the various loves and losses of the characters you get to know, love and admire while reading this tale. Beautiful and haunting. I won't soon forget this book.