“…sometimes, in winter, on a rare cloudless night, when the air is like a block of ice and the sky is on fire, ribbons of flame dance to earth and vanish into the night. The Aurora stops men in their tracks and makes them forget themselves for a few moments. On nights when they cannot sleep, some of them dream of finding peace between the strips of light.”
Merinder’s House is an exciting example of new Scottish historical fiction set partly in early 19th century Scotland and Spain, and partly in the modern dilemmas faced by the population of a small island.
It is the story of how a museum curator comes to terms with leaving behind the work which has become her life. She discovers a mysterious bundle of letters which apparently link the island’s problems to the actions of a 19th century landowner, Sir James Merinder, but which result in far more damaging revelations.
Merinder is a failed 19th century academic who is forced back home from a Grand Tour to follow his father into the fish trade. He conducts economic experiments on his estate which involve the wholesale eviction of hundreds of his tenants, while he devotes himself to mediaeval manuscripts he has purchased in Spain.
Merinder’s games with light and time are woven into the fabric of his house, the book’s central character. It is an incongruous Gothic mixture of styles and tastes built from the trophies Merinder has gathered on his journeys, a place of anomalies and asymmetries where the curator finally begins to understand the nature of things.
List Price: $16.00