Sarah Duguid grew up on a farm in North Lincolnshire and now lives in London. The Wilderness is her second novel.
My goodness what a tragedy this family had to face and what upheaval and readjustment for all. I had every sympathy for Anna. Not only did she have to deal with such a traumatic event but she was an instant mother-figure to two teenage girls. In addition, she was uprooted from her comfortable city life to live in the wilds of a Scottish island, at the mercy of the weather and the tides. The old house couldn’t have been more different from her London home either, being old-fashioned and draughty. It wasn’t just the island that was a wilderness: everyone’s lives were a kind of wilderness too, a turbulent new situation that everyone had to try to get used to.Once it was a family home. Now they are all at sea . . .About the book
When Anna and David receive a phone call late one evening, their lives are upturned. Within minutes, they are travelling to the west coast of Scotland, preparing to care for two young sisters, tragically and suddenly orphaned.
About the Author
The Wilderness is published by Tinder Press and available now. My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part in the tour and Caitlin Rayner for the review copy.
The Wilderness is a short read at around 250 pages but each page is packed with tension and detail. It puts a spotlight on grief, the unravelling of a family following tragic loss and how that family begins to reshape itself.
It’s a beautiful place, the heather is in bloom, the birds wheel above the waves, the deer graze peacefully in the distance. But the large granite house is no longer a home for the girls, and Anna knows she can never take the place of their mother. Then David invites his friend to stay, to ‘ease them through’ and Anna finds herself increasingly isolated, with everything she – and the girls – once knew of life discarded and overruled by a man of whom she is deeply suspicious.
The author hooks you in with a very intriguing prologue which then has you wondering all through the book just what has happened and what will happen.
The author did a brilliant job of creating a really eerie atmosphere with the house and the island feeling rather claustrophobic. They really felt like additional characters at times.
I did not like the character of David’s friend Brendan at all. Every scene he was in made the characters edgy and had a really unsettling feel. His actions verged on the bizarre at times and made me feel quite uncomfortable. What was needed for this family was stability and he really rocked the metaphorical boat.