In a Scottish mill town purged of men by war, four unforgettable women navigate a treacherous time, guided only by the bonds of family and their bold dreams of escape.
In 1918, rainy Dundee is nearly emptied of men. The Great War has left the town’s women both newfound freedom and servitude. They toil in the deadly jute mills, taking in the children of perished family members and praying their own bodies – and spirits – do not fail them too.
A grateful widow of the war, Morag shelters her daughters as best she can: beautiful Caro schemes to escape the working class with well-calculated seduction, while Wallis works in the mill alongside her mother, slowly fortifying both spirit and pocketbook for a more radical departure. Morag’s orphaned niece, Imogen, seeks to understand her fragile mother’s death, and the return of the father who abandoned them.
Infused with the longing, courage and passion of its indelible cast of characters, and steeped in the faith and terrors of its time – from the suffragettes and the Easter Uprising to the influenza pandemic and the Tay Bridge disaster – Beyond the Blue is a lyrical, reflective novel about finding purpose and freedom in a place without hope.
I was wandering up and down the aisles at the library when this book caught my attention. Actually it was cover that caught my attention. It's such a beautiful cover, there's sadness in the girls eyes and I couldn't leave the library without the book.
And just like the cover, the book itself is beautiful and sad. But there was also hope. The women in the story were amazing. The mother, Morag is a very hard working woman who is ill, but doesn't want her girl to suspect how bad (health wise) she truly is. Caro, the eldest daughter wants more to her life than working in a factory, she wants money, and she's not afraid to follow her dream. Wallis, is hiding a secret that may hurt her mother; Wallis also dreams of leaving Dundee. And then there's Imogen, she's having a hard time remembering her mother, there's an terrible secret that her family is keeping from her and she wants to know what it is.
It was such such an emotional read but at the end it had that silver lining, it was worth the wait.
Beyond the Blue by Andrea MacPherson (3.5/5) Historical Fiction; Published: Random House Canada (2007); New Author; Canadian Author; Colorful Reading Challenge (1); Canadian Book Challenge (12); Books 2010 (56);