A tale of love, war and drama

The Oban Times - - Arena -

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.

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