Voices from the Sea
In 1865 Eppie has lost her beloved husband to the sea—that eternal danger faced by the fisher folk of Portsoy. Her parents provide a loving home for her young daughter. Eppie, daughter of a schoolmaster and sister of a teacher, is well educated and a suitable housekeeper for wealthy widower Andrew Geddes. Andrew has troubles: a spiteful mother and Lydia, his idle, ignorant daughter. His son Duncan has a passion for the new science of geology; Andrew believes the boy will simply end up labouring as a quarry man. At fifteen Duncan runs away to pursue his dream.
When Lydia meets Eppie’s daughter Charlotte, she has found a true friend and they share lessons with Eppie’s sister Marion. With both sisters now working for Andrew Geddes, Marion has a chance of unlooked-for joy but Eppie seems to be a woman who only loves once.
After five years Duncan returns triumphant with a rough and loud-mouthed stranger—Foy, his experienced mentor in geology who delights in teasing Eppie… Andrew and Foy are old enemies; a long-ago jealousy and present blazing dislike threaten the close-knit village with tragedy.
This is a skilfully written, deceptively simple story. The author, while revealing the hardships, allows us in this accomplished novel to share the pleasure of a sturdy, life-loving community.