«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)
«This is an absolute gem of a book, a delight to read. As a frequent visitor to the Isle of Skye and Outer Hebrides myself, it is very interesting to find how the author reacts to many things that I have experienced, people I know and life in the islands. The book is a series of short pieces about diverse things, but with a geographical thread. I strongly recommend this to anyone planning a trip for the first time, regular visitors or locals alike. I await her book on Orkney and Shetland with interest. As an Orcadian who also knows Shetland well it will be very interesting to see her take on the Northern Isles.» (Amazon.uk.com)
In Travels in the Scottish Islands 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.»