Wednesday, November 4, 2015
The Road Dance by John MacKay
The bond between a mother and her child is the strongest in the natural world. So why would a young woman, dreaming of America, throw her newborn baby into the waves of the wild Atlantic ocean?
Life in the Scottish Hebrides can be harsh - 'The Edge of the World' some call it. For Kirsty MacLeod, the love of Murdo promises a new life away from the scrape of the land and the repression of the church. But the Great War looms and the villages hold a grand Road Dance to send their young men off to battle.
As the dancers swirl and sup, Kirsty is overpowered and raped by an unknown assailant. She hides her dark secret, fearful of what it will mean for her and the baby she is carrying. Only the embittered doctor, a man with a cold wife and a colder bed, suspects.
On a fateful day of surging seas and swelling pain Kirsty learns that her love will never be back. Now she must make her choice and hit is no choice at all.
And the hunt for the baby's mother and his killer become one and the same.
I loved this book! Read it in two sittings. It's set in the early 1900's at the very beginning of WWI. Live was harsh on the island. All they had were fishing, family and their religion. Their faith was strong and they relied on God for everything. The church was a huge part of their lives. Sad to say the church at that time was not a loving place. Strict and unforgiving. And sometimes that drove people to do desperate things to hide their 'sin'. It hurts my heart to think of it.
There is a little mystery involved as to who raped Kirsty. I was shocked when it was revealed. An 'OMG!' ending for sure. Mr. MacKay captured the time and place and the atmosphere superbly! He transported me there. This is one of those reads that keeps coming back to your mind long after you read it. This is his debut novel. I'm hoping there are many more!
John MacKay is a journalist and presenter on Scottish TV's Scotland Today.
You can read the first couple of paragraphs of this book to get a feel for his lovely writing here.