Emotional Geology

Thoughts  Emotional Geology by Linda Gillard, transita 2005, 305 pages, tradeback, won in a book giveaway

WHAT’s it ABOUT: A textile artist comes to grips with her mental illness by moving to a desolate area of Scotland. She learns to live and learn, embrace her passions and grief, and reconcile her fears of love by recreating family relationships. The book has beautiful descriptions, evocative poetry and fascinating exploration of simple complexities. So, yea, it’s a love story.

WHAT’s GOOD: I loved this story. I loved how the author pieces and weaves together bits from the past with the present and slowly reveals the characters struggles and motivations.

“I’m woken by shards of glass being driven repeatedly into my brain. The telephone.”

WHAT ELSE:  I wanted to be annoyed at Rose but that is part of the author’s intent, I’m sure of it. She is manic/depressive and it is a frustrating disease so, of course, Rose battles with herself for control of her emotions and behavior. She struggles with maintaining the balance — many things, not just medicine, can throw it out of kilter. It seemed very honest.

“Peace of mind is sitting, forgotten, in a a bottle on my bathroom shelf.”

FINAL Thoughts: Rose is an artist and when she meets another artist, a poet, they combine their mediums for an art show which sounded just amazing!  I would go see such an exhibit. The descriptions of the inspiration for the art, the results and the poems combine for an all-senses treat.

“Texture and Text”

I give a shout out to Jill of Rhapsody in Books for being an enthusiastic ambassador for this book and this author. This could be any one of those books that when added to the shelf seems to be pushed aside for newer and shinier acquisitions that have the buzz. Jill reminded me that this book is right up my alley and it is a testament to marketing of how things continually pop up in your peripheral vision get called out eventually. I’m so glad she endorsed this book and I’m sad that I waited as long as I did. I will be loaning my copy only to friends I know will return it to me!

Not only did the author send me this book, but she signed it and added an extra note on a postcard of artwork from an AMAZING quilt by Sheena J. Norquay. The book itself has a lovely cover; the little extras and Jill’s recommendation plus the lovely story combined to make this a wonderful reading experience.

RATING: Four slices of pie. With EXTRA whipped cream! and a few extra bits of pie from a slice shared with a friend. (4 1/2 stars in goodreads if I could give such a thing.)

OTHER Reviews: Jill’s at Rhapsody in Books <– Jill will have you craving this book if I didn’t quite do the job and now has me putting Ms. Gillard on my must-read-more-by list, Jill at FizzyThoughts <– this Jill loved it, too. Calls it ‘evocative’ and has a link to a page at the author’s site which is a must-read as well, and the whole list of reviews found on the Book Blogger Search.


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26 thoughts on “Emotional Geology

  1. Thank you so much for this review. (I’m the author.) I’m so pleased you got around to reading EMOTIONAL GEOLOGY. I loved your tags! “I dare say that Calum is a better Scottish heartthrob than Jamie of Outlander”. Wow!

    Jill at Rhapsody in Books has been wonderful for me. I owe her so much. If it weren’t for bloggers’ enthusiasm (Angieville is another big fan) I don’t think my books would be known at all in the US.

    If you’d like to review any others of my books, let me know and I’ll send you a copy. 3 of them are Kindle only, though HOUSE OF SILENCE should be in pb by Christmas.

    If you like Scottish settings & heroes you might like UNTYING THE KNOT (Kindle) which has just been awarded a B.R.A.G medallion (Book Readers Appreciation Group.) http://www.bragmedallion.com/medallion-honorees/2012/untying-the-knot

        1. No? darn, or maybe it will still find you. I sent it off about 6 weeks ago, I think. I wanted to let you know how great Jill has been to keep your book top of mind AND that I was just about to start it ‘next’. ;0

        2. Do you remember where you sent it to? Was it the Isle of Arran (old address) or Munlochy, Ross-shire (current address)? If it went to my old address I might be able to get them to forward it. Would hate to miss it. 😦

  2. And sorry for the fatuous comment earlier because you KNOW I get distracted by talk of desserts, but I do want to say that this author is one of the few who actually writes about characters older than seventeen! And puts them in a love story! With lots of emotional depth and nuance! That’s why I champion her, but it’s hard to concentrate, you know, when you’ve got pie going on….

  3. It’s wonderful when an author is able to describe works of art in a way that makes them sound interesting and real. I didn’t love the one Siri Hustvedt book I read, but she described the characters’ sculptures and paintings absolutely brilliantly.

  4. For a long time, I was convinced that Rhapsody Jill actually WAS Linda Gillard promoting her own books! : )

    I read only one of her books so far but I know I have to read more. I love that you allotted her extra whipped cream!

  5. Yay for books set in Scotland by someone who actually lives here! Since moving here, I’ve tried to read a few, but I haven’t quite found the right one yet. This is the one you mentioned to me on twitter, right?

    I will most definitely be checking this one out, as well as Star Gazing. I just put them on hold at my library! It sounds like something I would love.

    1. I lived on the Isle of Skye for 6 years, Kristi, and I knew North Uist (the island where EMOTIONAL GEOLOGY is set) from family holidays. My husband lived and taught on the Isle of Harris and we’ve both lived on the Isle of Arran, so we’re sort of island experts!

      When I used to holiday in the Hebrides I was always looking for fiction set in the islands. It was easy to find history, biog & poetry (all of which I bought) but I couldn’t ever find fiction that appealed. That’s one of the reasons I wrote EG. I felt I had to write the sort of book I’d always wanted to read.

      If you like island stories, you might like to check out Catherine Czerkawska’s THE CURIOSITY CABINET, a dual-time love story set on a fictional island (based on Gigha.) Catherine is Scots and lives in Ayrshire but she knows Gigha very well. See http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Curiosity-Cabinet-ebook/dp/B005GEYW4A/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1347895139&sr=8-1

      1. Linda, thanks so much for the recommendation. I will see if I can find a copy. I’m living in near Glasgow right now, but haven’t made it out to the islands, but hope to before the year has ended. I’m really interested in island stories, and was excited when Care first mentioned Emotional Geology to me. I love the reason that you say you wrote it–that it was the book you always wanted to read. I find that results in some of the best books!

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