By Andrew O'Hagan
The theme of this Scottish Catholic novel is the collision of the old Scotland of municipal socialism and the new. That collision is dramatized in the story of the narrator’s grandfather, an ambitious but misguided social improver.Tweet
A beautifully written novel set in Scotland but the lyrical, poetic prose made it, at times, a little long winded, and sometimes it was easy to lose the thrust of what was actually going on, hence only 3 stars. Having said that, it's a sensitively written story about a grandfather on his deathbed with his grandson beside him. We get the backstories of both men and thus the story of four generations of fathers and sons who mostly hated one another. We also see the life of the dying man with the benefit of hindsight which allows his mistakes and misjudgements as well as his great lifetime achievements to be put into context which demonstrates how views can change completely over time and rewrite history.