Island Life: #SummerReads

During July we are running a 3 for 2 special offer on nearly all Luath fiction books! To help you pick your #SummerReads, we’re putting together a couple of wee collections we think would go well together. Today, we look at Island Life.

The Scottish Islands have always provided authors and readers alike a wealth of stories. Whether this is to do with escapism, the intrusion of the mainland on island life, or just the natural beauty these places have to offer, the islands both in real life and in fiction are evocative places. Many may see them as a different world, that is still all too familiar – and in my opinion they provide some of the best stories! We’ve picked three books which are set in the islands, two in the Hebrides and one in Shetland.

Buy any two fiction books in our summer 3 for 2 offer, and pick another absolutely free. Remember to order using this offer page only, otherwise your discount will not be applied. The offer ends on 31st July.

Da Happie Laand

Shortlisted for the 2010 Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year Award and for the fiction category for the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards 2011.

Longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2012

A work of complexity, a novel to be savoured and one that will only get better with ageNEW SHETLANDER

Jamieson achieves something quite extraordinary – [he] combines a compelling modern mystery with 500 years of history in a typically experimental style that leaves many of his contemporaries lagging.THE LIST

Robert Alan Jamieson’s strange masterpiece Da Happie Laand haunts dreams and waking hours, as it takes my adopted home of Shetland, twisting it and the archipelago’s history into the most disturbing, amazing slyly funny shapes. THE SUNDAY HERALD

An experimental novel on a grand scale, beautifully carried through. Shifting perspectives from a contemporary mystery to a history of Shetland and emigration, it extends the idea of Scottish empire and diaspora imaginatively, while addressing notions of being and belonging in 21st century Scotland.

In the summer of the year of the Millennium, a barefoot stranger comes to the door of the manse for help. But three days later he disappears without trace, leaving a bundle of papers behind.

Da Happie Laand weaves the old minister’s attempt to make sense of the mysteries left behind by his ‘lost sheep’ with an older story relating the fate of a Zetlandic community across the centuries – the tales of those people who emigrated to New Zetland in the South Pacific to build a new life in the promised land, and those who stayed behind.

Heartland: A Novel

A man tries to build for his future by reconnecting with his past, leaving behind the ruins of the life he has lived. Iain Martin hopes that by returning to his Hebridean roots and embarking on a quest to reconstruct the ancient family home, he might find new purpose. But as Iain begins working on he old blackhouse, he uncovers a secret from the past, which forces him to question everything he ever thought to be true. Who can he turn to without betraying those to whom he is closest? His ailing mother, his childhood friend and his former love are both the building – and stumbling – blocks to his new life. Where do you seek sanctuary when home has changed and will never be the same again?

Written by journalist and newsreader John MacKay, who presents the STV News and Scotland Tonight.

Praise for The Road Dance, also by John MacKay:

[MacKay] has captured time, place and atmosphere superbly…’ MEG HENDERSON

‘a gripping plot that subtly twists and turns, vivid characterisation, and a real sense of time and tradition, this is an absorbing, powerful first novel.’ SCOTS MAGAZINE

‘Powerful, shocking, heartbreaking’ DAILY MAIL


Last of the Line

‘Where MacKay differs from most other Hebridean-based novels is in his obvious research into the geography, and meticulous background into island traditions and cultures.’ THE STORNOWAY GAZETTE

‘The Hebridean scenes are powerful.’ THE SUNDAY HERALD

‘There is a tightly plotted story here, together with some lovely details of remote island life.’ THE INDEPENDENT

‘A Strong modern story of personal conflict’ NORTHWORDS NOW

When Cal MacCarl gets a phone call to his bachelor flat in Glasgow asking him to come to the bedside of his Aunt Mary, dying miles away on the Isle of Lewis, he embarks on a journey of discovery. With both his parents dead, his Aunt Mary is his only remaining blood link. When she goes he will be the last of the family line and he couldn’t care less. In the days between his aunt’s death and funeral he is drawn into the role of genealogy detective. In a place where everyone knows everything about everybody, Cal finds that secrets are buried deep and begins to understand that Aunt Mary was not the woman he knew and he might not be the person he thought he was.