A novel of the Iolaire disaster.
In the small hours of January 1st, 1919, the cruellest twist of fate changed at a stroke the lives of an entire community.
Tormod Morrison was there that terrible night. He was on board HMY Iolaire when it smashed into rocks and sank, killing some 200 servicemen on the very last leg of their long journey home from war. For Tormod – a man unlike others, with artistry in his fingertips – the disaster would mark him indelibly.
Two decades later, Alasdair and Rachel are sent to the windswept Isle of Lewis to live with Tormod in his traditional blackhouse home, a world away from the Glasgow of their earliest years. Their grandfather is kind, compassionate, but still deeply affected by the remarkable true story of the Iolaire shipwreck – by the selfless heroism and desperate tragedy he witnessed.
As The Women Lay Dreaming is available now in ebook and paperback. You can purchase your copy here.
As The Women Lay Dreaming is a beautiful, emotional piece of historical fiction that you will definitely need tissues handy to read.
I had never heard of the Iolaire disaster so I found if fascinating to learn more about it and the impact it had on the community for many years to come. A lot of the stories were very emotional ones and I found myself crying throughout the book at all that happened.
The characters are all very well drawn and I thought they seemed very real. I really liked the relationship the children developed with their grandfather which was very heart warming to read about. He came across as a gentle giant who was very caring to his grandchildren.
The author vividly describes the way of life on the Island and it was very interesting to learn more about the traditional way if life there with a cow shed in their house and their reliance on horses to get around. The author also describes in detail their grandfather’s work as a black Smith and I found it fascinating to learn more about the skills involved.
The book is surprising gripping, especially considering that most people know what the outcome will be . I think this is down to the way the author cleverly weaves the story’s together and how personal the account feels so that the reader can’t help but feel involved in the characters lives. I found myself hoping things would turn out differently.
This is the first book by this author I have read but I’d definitely be interested in reading more from him in the future
Huge thanks to Julia Forster for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book .
About The Author:
A son of the Hebrides, Donald S. Murray is a writer and poet whose work has been shortlisted for both the Saltire Literary Awards and the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award. His critically acclaimed books bring to life the culture and nature of the Scottish islands, and he appears regularly on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Scotland.