Callum Mor, the epic main character, takes the reader on a deep Hero's Journey. It opens with his childhood in the Hebrides, islands off the NW coast of Scotland. He draws wonderful mentors to him; his schoolteacher, who lights the spark of a bard in him, animal friends such as an otter, a brutal fisherman who shields his darkness from the boy as he matures. Callum Mor thrives despite the poverty of his home in an island nurturing with gentle humor and adventure. This novel moves from the rhapsody of Callum Mor's idyllic childhood through tragedies to the derelict zone of his alcoholic drowning out of pain and suffering, then finally into a state of awakening he remained in for the rest of his life.
His father, a seaman longing to be at home, is driven to madness by his inability to create a place for himself on the island. His brother is murdered on the docks at Montreal. So Callum Mor stays with his mother and forgets his yearnings to be a writer. He becomes the best fisherman in the region before grave misunderstandings tear his love, Catriona, away from him. This displaces his gifts as he drives himself and his crew to the very limits of endurance. The manner of his mother's death is the final straw. Callum Mor's sensitivities snap and he enters the dark zone of alcoholism and withdraws from society. With only his animals keeping him this side of sanity he survives in a bleak solitude. Until a family with a small girl seeking refuge from a storm come to his house. Slowly he edges away from his self-destruction. He saves the girl's life in a winter blizzard. The glimmer of awakening dawns in him while sheltering in a cave with the child warmly ensconced in the gutted carcass of a sheep he killed to keep her from freezing. He sees his life pass in front of his eyes and is grateful that his journey brought him to such insight. This sets the stage for the final drama that illuminates the resilience of the human spirit.
"Redemption" is my thirteenth book and first novel, though actually the first book I ever wrote. Written in 1975, it was soon forgotten, as I was unable to get it published at that time. This "Lost" manuscript was rediscovered the spring of 2011 and then refined. I found it in an old filing cabinet, read it through and could scarce believe it. I requested my wife and a couple of friends with critical eyes to read it through, just in case I was dreaming. Modern technology enabled the yellowing typed manuscript to be transformed into a computer ready document. My wife thought it was incredible; one friend could not put it down and mused about the film to be made; the other friend cried through most of it. All of which encouraged me to bring "Redemption" to life. I was tempted to leave this gem from 1975 in its pristine state, but realized that my insights some forty years later could enhance the narrative and flesh out "Callum Mor" into a character of epic proportions.
The story is an allegory for the life difficulties I experienced at that time — 40 years ago. The surprise for me was how could I have written such a book while in a desperate state of mind? I was a real mess — with a failing marriage in the Hebrides and trying to keep a career going at Carleton University in Canada. I was not doing a good job with either. Publishing this book in 2014 was an imperative for me, as a necessary part of my own life-journey. It is a companion to Trailing Sky Six Feathers also published in 2014. These books are writing me.
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||207 KB|