This is the second book by Linda Gillard that I’ve read, and it’s almost as good as the first one. And that’s still high praise, because I adored Star Gazing. It was beautifully written, the words and descriptions so evocative, that in my mind, it’d be a hard book to top.
However, Emotional Geology is still beautiful written, with a compelling story and setting. In fact, I’m ready to move to North Uist.
Emotional Geology is the story of Rose Leonard, a textile artist who has recently moved to the remote island of North Uist (it’s in Scotland) in search of solitude. Rose needs solitude for her sanity, although it takes awhile to uncover the reasons for why her grasp on sanity is so precarious. And despite her desire to be left alone, Rose is increasingly drawn to her neighbors, particularly Calum, a younger man with some troubles of his own. And when Rose’s daughter arrives for a visit, she will become the catalyst for quite a few revelations.
What makes this book special is both its setting and the characters. While the set-up is similar to Star Gazing, the characters themselves are completely different. Gillard brings North Uist to life, both the remoteness and the resulting closeness of its inhabitants. And her flawed characters are honest and real. Rose may not seem like she possesses much of a mothering instinct, but by the end of the book I could totally understand her reasons for wanting her own life and her desire for some distance from her daughter.
If you’d like to know more about how the book came to be, as well as more about the characters about which I’m being intentionally vague, check out this page on the author’s website.
And if you’re the FTC, I bought this my own self, so move on.