Book 18 – The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle – Kirsty Wark
I have been eagerly awaiting this book since I first read that Kirsty Wark was publishing her first novel. I am a great admirer of Kirsty Wark from newsnight and more recently seeing her in person interviewing authors in her role as Patron of the Borders Book Festival. I have a life time admiration for anyone who can put a politician in their place and also in a past life would have loved to have done her job. I recently have discovered the Danish political TV series Borgen which I have become rather addicted to and although I still can see why people feel compelled to be politicians I no longer feel that I personally want to be part of it. Although Borgen is drama and fictional I have a feeling that much of it is true. And I am no Machiavelli.
So my first reason I was eagerly awaiting the book was my admiration for Kirsty Wark but the most compelling reason was that the book was set on Arran. If you read this blog on a regular basis you will know that I have a love affair for Islands and in particular Scottish Islands. https://fionadranesblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/a-life-long-obsession-with-scottish-islands-and-cal-mac-ferries/
And my love affair with Islands started when my parents took me on holiday to Arran. Even right now if I need to relax I visualise myself sailing on a Cal Mac ferry approaching Brodick. Although we have rather neglected Arran in recent years exploring new islands. We will return and I regularly return to my memory bank of Arran holidays as it has been so significant in my life.
I read this book as a result fairly quickly though this was also as I wanted to know what happened next. As well as delighting in spending the week that I read it not in the Scottish Borders where I actually was but on Arran. The book is set in the past and in the present which many books seem to be these days with one chapter set in the past and one in the present. I sometimes find this frustrating as I get caught up with one story and then have to change again to the other’s. This was the case on a few occasions here as I totally engaged with the life of Elizabeth Pringle. But that said the dementia story that ran through the life of the character in the present kept interest in this story too. Especially as I had just seen another Patron of the Borders Book Festival Sally Magnusson speaking about her book on looking after her mother with dementia at an event at Mainstreet Trading. I was very moved with the love compassion and raw honesty that Sally Magnusson showed that night. This novel shows a similar relationship between a mother with dementia and her daughter which as a result of hearing Sally Magnusson had great resonance.
I really enjoyed the Legacy of Kirsty Wark and will be passing the book on to my mum and friends which for me is the greatest compliment I can give any book. If I want to share it then it’s a great book.