«Kirsti Jareg, author of Øyene i Vest [Travels in the Scottish Isles] hopes not so much to ride the wave of interest for Scotland, as to raise its swell into something more important: a new awareness of the strength of ancient bonds.» (Andrew Boyle, The Guardian)
In Travels in the Scottish Isles. The Hebrides, the author skilfully weaves threads from a rich historical past with her observant and personal account of a colourful, but challenging present. Kirsti MacDonald Jareg brings to bear her educational background in anthropology and psychology to give us this enchanting and informative insight into this special part of the world. Meetings with characters from a distant past, as well as to-day’s people from all walks of life, form the backbone of this book, and continually keep the reader in touch with the heartbeat of the island communities.
The music of calling seabirds, the bleating of sheep on the hills with their tinkling bells, seals singing out on the skerries, old Gaelic songs and lively fiddle tunes, the eternal washing of waves over white shell sands, and the ever-present winds, form a haunting backdrop, at the same time enlivening and soothing.
The author is of Norwegian and Scottish parentage. She grew up in Norway but had frequent visits to Scotland from childhood onwards, exploring the Hebrides and later Shetland and Orkney. She thus brings both the outsiders critical eye as well as a warm-hearted familiarity in her discussions of island life. The narrative is both humorous and well-researched, and captures the unique blend of Scottish, Celtic and Norse language, culture, architecture and tradition found in these beautiful islands.
The text is accompanied by a rich cavalcade of illustrations from sea, land and sky; people at work and play; tantalising glimpses of architecture and many other details from an ever-changing environment. It is hoped readers will be enticed to respond to the old Celtic invitation:
Come in the evening, or come in the morning
Come when you’re called for, or come without warning.»