Why did you choose this book?
Waterstones in #Kirkcaldy had become my regular haunt of mine over the winter. I am reading more paperbacks, rather than books on Kindle, because of my RSI problem, which I am managing relatively well now.
I was browsing on Waterstone’s ‘Buy 1 Get 1 Half Price‘ tables and stumbled upon ‘Little Wing‘ by Freya North. I found the title intriguing, followed by the name of the author ‘North’, and wondered if it is Freya’s real name. Then it was the cover which spoke immediately of Western Scotland, or even the Outer Hebrides. I was not wrong. On reading the blurb next, it pointed in that direction. The novel was clearly set in three different time zones and just looked my kind of book.
Did I feel empathy to any particular character?
I felt particular empathy to Nell (2005) who was working in a café, where the employees needed support in order to fulfil their amazing roles. I am a great believer in folks being allowed, with loving and caring guidance, to reach their potential. Nell was an extra special person and I identified with her patience and fondness for her charges, but also with her at the moment when her life was ‘turned upside down’ by a discovery about herself. As far as I know this hasn’t happened to me, but I warmed to her quest and also to her eventual feeling of belonging in the Outer Hebrides.
Is there a lasting thought or memory from the book which remains with you long after the novel is finished?
Having visited Harris and Lewis, and also having relocated to Scotland from Bedfordshire myself, I can visualise Nell and even Florence (1969) and their sense of belonging to what might appear initially to be a bleak and distant place. I can easily imagine the girls walking on the machair, along the sandy beaches, picking up pebbles and shells and watching the seals. I can feel the warmth of the folk she met and their desire to make her feel welcome; one of them even.
It was a great book and I might even keep it and read it again one day, (which is an unusual high accolade from me) maybe when we are travelling further north once more.