Rock-Bound: A Story of the Shetland Isles

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Young Inga Henderson has grown up as the daughter of the manse on a northerly Shetland isle named Vaalafiel. She is without a father; he died in a mysterious tragedy on a boat trip to Europe, in which his best friend also died, and which her mother, who was with them, won't speak about. Living with Inga and her mother in seclusion on Vaalafiel is that best friend's son, Laurence Traquair, a young man of culture who is subject to memory-obliterating fits and nervestorms, and who is Inga's kindest ally in a world made grim by her mother's coldness.

On a neighbouring island young, confident, cheerful Aytoun Weir lives with his father, the minister, his wise mother and happy sisters. Despite Inga's mother's wish to remain secluded, he is engaged to be Inga's tutor.

Inga's curiosity about her father and his mysterious death grows more intense as she matures. On another boat trip to Europe the astonishing full truth comes to light, and in one night of momentous events Inga's world is turned upside down.

In this debut novel, Jessie Saxby took elements of her own life and experiences and wove them into the gripping story of a young woman discovering herself through her hitherto hidden past. The result is a passionate novel with modern gothic undertones, reminiscent of the work of Charlotte Bronte and Robert Louis Stevenson, which anticipates the stirring tales of Daphne du Maurier. 

Jessie M.E. Saxby


401 pages