A tale of love, war and drama
TIMELESS Highland anecdotes told through the ‘romantic Highland story’ Ardnish Was Home shows love can ‘flourish anywhere’, writes Ellie Forbes.
The debut novel of Highland-born lad Angus MacDonald is set at the start of the 20th century and takes the reader on a compelling journey, from the West Coast of Scotland to Gallipoli and Malta.
Angus, who is from Spean Bridge, Fort William, was brought up in Glencoe, where his family owned the famous Clachaig Inn from 1962 to 1980.
After leaving school at 17, Angus went on to become a successful businessman, but now the entrepreneur has added yet another string to his bow with this successful first novel.
Angus told The Oban Times: ‘The book is about a young lad brought up in Ardnish peninsula, between Arisaig and Lochailort. He goes off to fight in the First World War, where he meets a girl on the train. When he is injured during the war at Gallipoli six months later, he meets the girl again as she is his nurse at the hospital, but he doesn’t know this because he has lost his eyesight.’
During the tale, the couple retreat from the war through Turkey to Malta, where they marry.
MacDonald is careful not give too much of the story away, but does note there is ‘ big twist in the last few pages of the book’.
Angus began the book back in 2000. It started off 16 years ago with him writing down anecdotes told to him by his father who urged him to turn the stories into a book.
He said: ‘I was brought up on the anecdotes of the Highlands. The stories used to be passed from generation to generation but nowadays people spend their time on Facebook – the social history of times gone by are not going to be preserved.
‘My father is a well-known historian and when I first started to write it in 2000 he encouraged me to turn it in to a book – the book is really a vehicle for the stories to be told.’
With the book's shocking ending, Angus already has the sequel ‘in his head’, with hopes for second book to follow next year.