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Far Across The Sea: A family saga that begins in Scotland in 1913 (2) Paperback – May 11, 2013
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The plot follows family members between wars and through WW2, after which William McMurdo emigrates to Queensland. It only becomes clear late on in the book that William was the author's father, who died in 2012 and emotion creeps into the narrative, resulting in a real feeling of loss for the reader.
I'd recommend both these books to anyone who thinks that mining was just unskilled labour and that demands of workers in the industry were excessive.
I felt as though I'd been drawn into the home and family of the McMurdos and I experienced their emotions with each event. This is a superbly crafted novel, based on factual events. It's a birds eye view of how life used to be, when putting enough food on the table was a priority of everyday life.
Evelyn Gough, Edinburgh, Scotland
Some very touching scenes
I bought this author's most recent book 'TheUndertaker', which I thoroughly enjoyed, and then decided to start reading hertrilogy of novels all set in Scotland. I have read 'Far Across the Sea' andhope to read the others soon. In this book, I got a real insight into what lifewas like for people after World WarTwo and also in the trenches in France. Then one of the people in the storymoves to Australia, with a view to going back to Scotland, but he never leaves.There are some very touching scenes in the book, especially when his motherrealises that she will never see her only son again. I too moved away from homeso it struck a chord within me. [by George Valance]
Well written and enjoyable read
This book ticks all the boxes in terms of interesting characters andevents and the description of places in Scotland and Australia. It covers theperiod 1913 to 2012 and gives a lot of interesting information about lifebefore, during and after the two world wars. This book is the second instalmentin a trilogy about this family. I didn't realise this and just bought 'FarAcross The Sea' which can be read by itself without needing to know the beforeand after story, but I am going to buy the other two books now and hopefullyconnect with the other characters in those books. The story flowed easily andit was an enjoyable read. [by Pete Bycroft]
Reader can get inside the novel
The writer has a way of portraying the characters and places so that thereader actually gets inside the novel. I grew to really care for the charactersin this book 'Far Across The Sea' and wanted to know what happened to them. Thecharacter Willie had so many near misses as far as accidents go that it's awonder he survived. And to think they were all real people. A great story, toldwith a lot of empathy. [by Anne Salmon]
Gives a better understanding
I just loved this book. Anyone who had an ancestor who went through the second world war wouldperhaps understand what they went through. The character in this book came backa changed man and it affected him all his life. I liked him and his son a lotand was sad when they both died. [by Therese Davidson]
A great series of books
I have now read the third book in this writer's series. 'Far Across TheSea' takes the reader from the gritty mining villages of Ayrshire Scotland tothe battlefields of France during WWI back to Scotland and the horrors that themen of war experienced. It follows the family through WWII and a greatcharacter emerges in the form of the son Willie who gets up to all sorts ofmischief, but his heart is in the right place as he is always trying to helphis mother put food on the table. There are tensions within the family andWillie decides to go to Australia. There are great descriptions of Australia inthe 1950s and the writer continues the story by moving seamlessly from what thefamily is doing in Scotland to what Willie is up to in Australia. I thoroughlyenjoyed the whole series. I would highly recommend the whole series including 'Faeries,Farms and Folk' and 'Ours Yours and Mines'. [by Mike Aspinall]
Well crafted book from talented author
It must have taken guts to travel for six weeks across the ocean fromScotland to Australia in the 1950s. The hero of this book was a stranger in astrange land but through his tenacity and hard work he made a go of it in the'lucky country'. Spoiler alert - he never made it back to Scotland and thechapters where his mother is pining for him are truly heart-wrenching. This isa well crafted book from a writer who is gaining a name for herself. I havejust started to read her latest offering 'Faeries, Farms and Folk' and amriveted by the description in the first chapters of the witch burnings. [byAileen Cummings]
From the Author
I grew up in a time of plenty, in the post-war boom. I knew very little about my father's life in Scotland before I started researching the family history. I knew that I was expected to do well at school and that failure wasn't an option, and I just accepted the expectations of my parents. I had no idea of the responsibility my father carried for the safety of his fellow workers in his dangerous occupation in the mines. In Scotland (and other parts of the world) in the earlier part of the 20th century, two world wars devastated towns and villages, physically, socially and economically, and people had to make to with what they had, or go without. As I have looked back at my grandfather's and father's early lives, the past has become romanticised, as nostalgia is wont to do, but the reality was harsh. I have thought how difficult it must have been for my father to leave his family, friends and country to travel across the world in search of adventure and better prospects. He suffered many setbacks along the way, but he always got back up, dusted himself off and moved on. We all have to travel our own road in life. It takes courage to take the road less travelled.