Kennedy and Boyd

Hidden Fairing, The
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By Morrison, N Brysson. With an Introduction by Mary Seenan
ISBN 1904999778
SERIES Twentieth Century Scottish Womens Fiction
Paperback  204 pages
Subject [Fiction ]
Published 15 April 2009
UK Price £12.95   Order from
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Originally published in 1951, The Hidden Fairing presents one man’s moral choices, and their consequences, against the background of a society impressed by material success and divided by class and religious prejudices. Growing up on a croft in the remote Highland village of Barnfingal, Bartle MacDonald is shown little affection by his dour widowed mother. Consequently, he enjoys the benevolent attention of Lady Wain, whose annual presence with her family in the Big House brightens his world. He is also imaginatively excited by his grandmother’s strange stories, shared in secret, about her past on the island of Wrack. These stories form a bond between them that later, for good or ill, influences Bartle’s major life choices. Academically gifted, Bartle progresses to Glasgow University where he excells in Mathematics and, thanks to Lady Wain’s patronage, he is offered a prestigious research post. However, Maysie Wain’s high-handed rejection of his marriage proposal forces Bartle to realise that he can never really belong in her world, and he declines the position and the brilliant future he thought it promised, in favour of obscurity as a village dominie. Finally finding a form of contentment after a life peppered with disappointments, his equanimity is shattered by an echo from his past. But, like the other gifts he has received, is this latest ‘fairing’ a punishment or a reward?

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