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Tales of My Own Country
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By Jacob, Violet
ISBN 1904999670
SERIES Twentieth Century Scottish Womens Fiction
Paperback  216 pages
 
Published 20 April 2008
UK Price £12.95   Order from amazon.co.uk
US Price $25.00   Order from amazon.com

The stories in this collection lovingly trace the lives of men and women in north-east Scotland that are thrown into relief by moments of change or crisis. Violet Jacob's characters struggle with the burden of secret knowledge or forbidden desire against a landscape that is both recognizably Scottish and yet also touched by the presence of something "beyond the bounds of this present world," as she describes it in one story. Jacob writes in clear, carefully observed language that captures both the linguistic variety of her characters and the often limited opportunities her characters must face. In one notable story, a young woman must choose between obedience to her miserly father or love for an unworthy suitor; in another, a sailor back home in Angus weighs the benefits of a land-bound life against the freedom of the seas. In each of the stories in the volume, Jacob illuminates landscapes and lives marked by what she elsewhere calls "the beauty of suggestion, the glamour of the unseen, the half-guessed." Jacob's vivid imagery and the precision of her language are not dimmed by time; the stories in this volume will enthrall contemporary readers with their portraits of places and individuals that appear so clearly crafted that Jacob's "own country" on the page becomes as real to readers as the real geographical places she describes.

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