Surging out of the sea, the Bass Rock has for centuries watched over the lives that pass under its shadow on the Scottish mainland. And across the centuries the fates of three women are linked: to this place, to each other.
In the early 1700s, Sarah, accused of being a witch, flees for her life.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, Ruth navigates a new house, a new husband and the strange waters of the local community.
Six decades later, the house stands empty. Viv, mourning the death of her father, catalogues Ruth’s belongings and discovers her place in the past – and perhaps a way forward.
Each woman’s choices are circumscribed, in ways big and small, by the men in their lives. But in sisterhood there is the hope of survival and new life. Intricately crafted and compulsively readable, The Bass Rock burns bright with anger and love.
I was six and just the two of us, my mother and I, took Booey for a walk along the beach where she and Dad grew up, the shore a mix of black rock and pale cold sand.
(@vintagebooks, 26 March 2020, ebook, 354 pages, borrowed from @GlasgowLib via @BorrowBox)
I’ve enjoyed other work by the author and this sounded like a good read so I couldn’t resist it. The Bass Rock is an actual island in Scotland made of volcanic rock in case you didn’t know. I’m delighted the book is set in Scotland, my country. I feel a sense of pride whenever a book is set here, whether successful or not. I loved The Bass Rock. The book interlinks the stories of three very different women across time and all against the backdrop of the island. The different era’s aren’t signposted in the book but I never lost sense of the where I read reading about because the author does such a brilliant job of bringing the characters to life and creating a sense of place. I connected with Ruth’s story the most as she suspects her marriage is falling apart and her husband has sinister intentions. This is a terrific read.