Where The Golden Oriole Sang
As this book opens we meet Anna, who begins to reminisce about her mother, Eilidh who died when Anna was only two years old. With the help of surviving family members, Anna is looking for answers to the mystery of Eilidh’s death, and using an old tin containing photographs from a past age, Anna looks back to the 1950’s where Eilidh’s childhood and life are revealed.
We learn that as a child, Anna’s life was rocked by a series of tragic events, each one affecting the tight community of people whose lives weave and mix to make this a remarkable and interesting story. The descriptive text takes us from the highlands of Scotland to the sights, sounds and bright colours of Malaya where a brutal war is taking place in an attempt to bring communism to the land. Here a community of British and Scottish men and women live a privileged life on the rubber estates. Their peaceful existence is disrupted by murders and tragedies that burden the characters in the story, and it is not just Anna who uncovers hidden secrets.
Where the Golden Oriole Sang takes us on a gentle meander through the rich, believable lives of the characters, and although it doesn’t grab you for a thrill ride it certainly entertains with wonderfully detailed and convincing descriptions of the places occupied by them.
I was captivated by this book, not wanting to put it down, and keen to read on to discover the intrigue and twists in the tale that would follow. Praise goes to Gael Harrison whose style of writing is flawless, descriptively accurate and a genuine pleasure to read.