Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thoughts on Emotional Geology by Linda Gillard

Emotional Geology (Ulverscroft General Fiction) Months ago I read a wonderful book called Star Gazing. Its author, Linda Gillard, lives on an island off Scotland and I soon became FB friends with her. Recently I learned she had a few copies left of her earlier book, Emotional Geology, so I bought one.

I don't know how many U.S. readers are familiar with Gillard's work, but I would encourage anyone who likes a deep love story (as opposed to what we all call romance) to find either of these books and read them.

Warning though, Emotional Geology is an intense experience. It's the story of Rose Leonard, a woman who has been hospitalized after breaking up with her lover of five years. He has left her for another woman and a less complicated life. Gavin was a mountain climber and Rose remembers how he loved climbing more than her, and how she was left behind to worry herself sick every time he took on another climbing challenge. She has a daughter who was a teenager at the time Gavin lived with them. Megan's point of view is different. She loved Gavin and saw him as her protector and the strong man who took care of her mother. You see, Rose is bipolar which has robbed Megan of her childhood.

Rose moves alone to an island a distance off of Scotland where the weather is harsh but there are no mountains except on a distant island. She is an artist and finds it impossible to work when she takes the dose of medications her doctor has ordered. They make her feel like a zombie. But she can't live without them either, so she tries to live on a smaller dose and pursue her textile art in quiet privacy.

Close neighbors become friends, especially Calum, a man with a past that makes him drink a bit too much. However, he's a poet and he's a successful schoolteacher as well. You can see where this is going. I loved Calum and suffered along with him in his trials and tribulations with Rose's illness. Megan comes for a visit which stirs things up to a boiling point.

The setting is bleak according to Megan, but Rose finds it beautiful. She sees the different colors and textures in the landscape and the sea. Since I'm pretty much of a loner myself, the island and the cottage Rose lives in appealed to me. I did have to put the book aside occasionally; the emotional storm of Rose and Calum's relationship was hard to bear.

In short, I will keep this one and I may even go back to reread it sometime which is something I never, ever do.


  1. I want to reread this too. I loved it the first time, and know I will love it again!

  2. I'm glad you emphasized that it's a love story and not a romance, because I believe there's a difference between the two. I enjoy a good love story but generally don't enjoy romance. I know of Gillard's work, but haven't read any of it yet.

  3. Thank you for introducing me to a new author. That she's lived on Skye is just icing on the cake.

  4. Thank you, Barbara, for a great review. :-) I'm truly honoured that you think you might re-read! I do think it's a different book when you re-read because you know what all the characters are trying to hide.

    Bermudaonion - I'm about to publish an e-book on Amazon next week. A family drama called HOUSE OF SILENCE. Perhaps that might finally tempt you if you have a Kindle?...

    Cathy - I lived on Skye for 6 years and now I live much further south, on the Isle of Arran. I tried living in Glasgow for a while but decided I was really an island person.

  5. Thanks for all of your comments. I'm happy to bring attention to this wonderful book.