A captivating memoir of one woman's relationship with a man and his mansion.
The story of Belinda Rathbone, an austere 39-year-old New York art historian who meets John Ouchterlony, an eccentric 53-year-old Anglo-Scot bachelor who just happens to have recently inherited the family sea (The Guynd). After a whirlwind romance they move to this decaying house and garden, and she is soon pregnant with the heir.
An unusual love story, this is also a book about cultural, national generational, gender and aesthetic differences. As Belinda tries to transform the home and infiltrate a closed community, we see conflicts aplenty: between the old world and the new, the hoarder and the minimalist, the doer and the prevaricator. We also learn about the history of Scottish aristocracy, buildings, farming, social life, and the Scottish temperament through Belinda's experience, research and endeavours.
Like a letter home from a strange land, Belinda offers a unique view into the pastoral Scotland of today that is both wry and poignant, and deeply reflective of the ties that bind us.