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Upstairs in the Tent

by Cynthia Rogerson

A touching observation of family life in the Western Highlands of Scotland. As with all families nothing is straightforward and Kate, newly a grandmother, hasn't time to think about her own desires and hopes for the future. This novel deals with complex situations in a very readable way - I couldn't put it down.

Extract

Kate turned from stirring the pot, looked at Mhairi, then back to the porridge. He said you'd married. A fellow from the Tech.

Mhairi sighed. Did he now? Well, he was right and wrong.

What do you mean, girl? You're either married or you're not.

Not necessarily, Mother. She looked irritated, a crease between her eyes. I might as well tell you now, though there's no real need for you to know, that I did marry a friend, an American called Brendan, so he could stay here.

Kate took the saucepan off the burner, burned her finger - shit! - and sat down.

He's started a computer course, but his visa expired last month. It's just a marriage of convenience. We'll get a divorce. Don't look like that, Mum, it's nothing really. Lots of people do it. Why shouldn't he be allowed to stay here if he wants to? Brendan loves Scotland.

It's alright, Mairi, I think that's fine. It's only relief I'm feeling. I thought you'd really married without telling me. I thought ....

You thought I was pregnant?

Yes, she said, and burst out laughing.

Well, I'm that as well.

Parallels

Two Kinds of Wonderful by Isla Dewar
Monarch of the Glen by Compton Mackenzie
 

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