James Roy Pickard

Based in Ballater on Royal Deeside between June 1914 and December 1915, the novel recounts the great love between an exceptional young woman and Gavin Fraser, a Gordon Highlander. They share an idyllic holiday in Upper Deeside and the Cairngorms. Her detailed comments about the area and life shed light on herself and inspire lyrical exchanges with him about their relationship. There is a regular alternation between an account of his service on the Western Front and news from her in Ballater. For example, she and her father visit some of his comrades in the burgh’s Red Cross Hospital and she informs him about wider matters, including cultural issues. The major uncertainty is what will happen to him and his close comrades in the war.

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