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Meeting the English

by Kate Clanchy

An intelligent, well-read but unsophisticated young man from Scotland is employed by a middle class London bookish family to care for paralysed literary giant Phillip Prys. Gradually he becomes counsellor to the whole family including current wife, ex wives and wayward offspring. An entertaining comedy of manners with some very witty observation of social attitudes and the North/South divide. A great feel-good, coming of age novel.

Extract

I have to let you English people have all your feelings, not just the English ones. And you, you have to let the folk in Cuik be stupid and clever, and nice and nasty as well. You have to let them feel stuff. I mean, have the whole range.'

'They can't,' said Jake. 'Feel. They're Scottish. They're brutally repressed.' ....

'And you don't? You English? You don't repress your feelings? 'What about you, Jake Prys, you've never come to see your dad in his chair since he's had his stroke. You think that's not repressed?'

Jake slapped Struan then.

Parallels

The Fall of Kelvin Walker by Alasdair Gray
How the Scots Took Over London by David Stenhouse
 

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