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Call of the Undertow makes its way in the world
17 December 2013
The good news came from the publishers yesterday that the first print run has sold out! But don't worry, more are on the way... Meanwhile, the book has continued to attract positive reviews. I feel I can report on this without 'crowing' as a) it doesn't feel wholly mine any more - through all the processes of publishing and now reading, it feel like it's jointly 'owned' and b) I find the reviewers have thoughtful and interesting things to say. Here's a few examples.
Northwords Now said: 'An astonishingly beautiful novel with passages of exquisite nature writing, light-touch description and a well-paced narrative which moves around the human psyche like a restless wind.'
On the Scots Whae Hay blog: 'Trothan is a child shaped by his surroundings, and he makes the perfect person to map his domain. The results are as much a rural psychogeography as being concerned with badlands, bedrock and beaches, and his work makes a community face its own past, just as Maggie must face hers.'
From the Scottish Review of Books blog: 'There are stunning descriptions of all that Maggie sees and feels as the tragedy in her past leaks into her dreams and then her waking moments. She tramps the wind-swept bay, watches the sky and its birds, the seals in the water. She maps Lagos in the cottage, walks and talks with Trothan, learning as she teaches.'
The Glasgow Review of Books: 'If the novel’s heart is the mystery of Maggie’s life before she came to the village, with Cracknell exploring the degree to which one can be forgiven for one’s past by both society and by oneself, she also explores maternal love through the relationship that develops between Maggie and a local schoolboy, Trothan Gilbertson.'
Angie Crawford, Scottish Buying Manager for Waterstones nominated it as her Book of the Year in The Bottle Imp and said, 'For me it was not so much the story but the writing. At the same time beautiful and haunting it conveys a remarkably strong sense of place and tradition, that rugged remote landscape (and coastline) of the North of Scotland.'
And both Kirsty Gunn and Andrew Crumey said nice things about it in the Scotsman's review of books of the year.
The best summary of all the reviews are on Freight's website (see below).