A Breath of Autumn

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Pan Macmillan, May 3, 2012 - Fiction - 152 pages
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Kirsty MacDonald is a crofter on the idyllic Westisle in the Hebrides, an island she now owns. Her son, Wee Ruari, has started school on the mainland, travelling by boat across the Sound to Clachan, and being separated from her son during the week is a wrench for Kirsty. Twice widowed, she misses the boy’s father, who was tragically drowned, and also her husband’s brother, who became her second husband – and secretly loved her.

Kirsty is not left entirely alone though. As autumn arrives she is kept busy preparing for the winter and finds herself fully involved in the lives of her fellow islanders: fisherman Jamie, who is like her own son, his friend Euan and new arrival Enac. However, it is the appearance of a Canadian and his daughter that causes the biggest waves in the small community. Kirsty is opposed to change but soon comes to learn that not all change is to be resisted.

‘Her Highland crofters emerge from the pages as true friends’ Mirror

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About the author (2012)

Lillian Comber wrote fiction and non-fiction for both adults and children under the pseudonym Lillian Beckwith. She is best known for her series of comic novels based on her time living on a croft in the Scottish Hebrides.

Beckwith was born in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, in 1916, where her father ran a grocery shop. The shop provided the background for her memoir About My Father's Business, a child’s eye view of a 1920s family. She moved to the Isle of Skye with her husband in 1942, and began writing fiction after moving to the Isle of Man with her family twenty years later. She also completed a cookery book, Secrets from a Crofter’s Kitchen (Arrow, 1976).

Since her death, Beckwith’s novel A Shine of Rainbows has been made into a film starring Aidan Quinn and Connie Nielsen, which in 2009 won ‘Best Feature’ awards at the Heartland and Chicago Children’s Film Festivals.

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