Together highlands, This is the third book of the year for Fanny Demuele, after mukbang, published in the spring, and Bagels, which followed in August.
A short but captivating novel, the title evolved to investigate the motives behind the journeys of three women visiting this region of Scotland. Also in December, when “hardly anyone” crosses the north of the country at this time of year.
These three independent, overlapping stories take different paths, but they all arrive at the same daring and surprising destination.
The first young woman flies to Scotland despite the fears of her parents, who consider her too fragile. She hears a voice that tells her that she is saved, as “Scotland and its skies and its extremities and its cruel mountains” call upon her. A country she believes is capable of giving her back the strength her ex has stolen from her and from which she hopes to return from the cliff.
The second trip with her boyfriend accompanying her to a conference as part of her doctoral thesis. He made sure to extend his travels to spend the holidays away from his families, those “backward” uncles and aunts, his inappropriate questions and his “unconscious homophobia” that plagues him every year.
The third, accompanied by her spouse and younger son, follows the opposite path taken by her mother and her grandparents while emigrating to Quebec. As the landscape changes, leaving the lowlands, strange echoes awaken inside him, like distant memories that make him realize that he is “from here”.
The novel explores Scottish mythology in a singular way and the way it plays with the minds of travelers – and ours at the same time. The surrounding darkness and this fog that makes even the slightest crack frightening and disturbing, like a strange and disturbing atmosphere, is strange and disturbing. In these places populated by shadows that take us into the universe of superstitions, we no longer manage to separate the real from the fruits of the characters’ imaginations.
And by these clever procedures that arouse suspicion in the reader, Fanny Demuele manages to maintain an overwhelming tension that won’t leave us until after the book closes.
Quebec America / Shop
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