Eyemouth by Keith Harrison
Finalist for The Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction in 1991
Set in Scotland against the expanding shadow of revolutionary terror and war, this epistolary novel by Keith Harrison is the story of the idealists of the French Revolution, the romantics who set out for the New World, and the Scots who were forced into British service during the Napoleonic war.
Opening with correspondence between Gavin and Mary, Eyemouth rings with authenticity, revealing its characters through their own lowlands Scots dialect. From the letters of Nessie, a servant girl who writes about the goings-on of her “laird and lady,” to those of Jimmy, a munitions manufacturer from Edinburgh, to the missives of Mary’s headstrong daughter, who disguises herself as a young man to search for her father in the New World, Eyemouth revels in the vagaries of a society caught on the edge of cataclysmic world events.
A novel about exile, lost love, and the betrayal of idealism, depicting the lives of its characters with vividness and surprising detail.
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