The plot of each of the stories is rather simple and straightforward, but its the unfolding and rumination and perception and importance that is what makes the stories so strong. Big ideas and topics are softly unveiled, rather like Willa Cather's writing. Each story has parts of its that can be quoted for their subtlety and profundity, but it would end up a few pages long (at least). All of the stories are quite good, and the best were "In the Fall", "The Vastness of the Dark", "The Return", "The Boat", and "The Road to Rankin's Point" (that's five of a set of seven!).
Every story in this collection is memorable. Each sentence is beautifully crafted. Every character resonates with the sea and standing stones, with thistle and northern winds, especially if you are Scots by birth or by heart.
The first story I think of often, because of box of random books next to the bed, that the father would read without discrimination, cover to cover, emptying the box and filling the overflowing ashtray.
I recommend this to all writers. This book is truly written with salt and blood.
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