I’m thrilled to welcome Yvonne Marjot to my blog today to discuss the themes of her latest novel, released on Sunday.
I’m going to talk about the themes of Walking on Wild Air. However, I’m going to try and do it in a way that doesn’t spoil the story, for those of you who haven’t read it yet. So please excuse me if I waffle a bit.
Walking on Wild Air is a love story with a twist: a Scottish island paranormal romance with an unexpected ending. The plot sees Sushila Mackenzie grieving her dead father, still carrying physical and emotional injuries received during the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami ten years before. She arrives at her father’s old house, at the base of a great hill on a remote Scottish island, and takes refuge there, too distressed to come to any decision about her future.
The island is very beautiful, a calm sanctuary away from the cares of the world. Sushila pushes herself to climb the hill, reliving memories of childhood adventures with her father. She thinks, too, about her mother and grandmother, and her life growing up in their vibrant, colourful, multi-ethnic Sri Lankan community.
On the hill she meets local inhabitant Dougie MacLean, a shepherd who lives alone following the death of his wife. He is kind and cheerful, and Sushila is immediately attracted. But Dougie hides a great and dreadful secret. Learning it will stretch Sushila to her limits. Falling in love with her puts him at terrible risk.
Love and grief are at the heart of life. We are born in anguish, and learn to feel joy. We love and lose, and every loss brings further pain. But without the love we would be empty, and life would be meaningless. Sushila believes she cannot cope with any more pain. For a while, loving Dougie brings her healing: a peace and joy she thought she’d never experience again. But it cannot last. There is a price to pay, and one of them must have the courage to face it.
Dougie’s own grief began long, long before. We get a glimpse of how very old he is through a series of brief stories, ranging across 10, 000 years of Scottish history. The truth implies an extended existence of almost unimaginable loneliness.
The boundless depth of his empathy holds a healing power for Sushila and she rapidly comes to depend on him, to the exclusion of all other relationships. She is willing to set aside her growing friendships with a group of women friends, and all semblance of a normal life, to join Dougie in his strange second life. But slowly they come to realise that their paths are too different.
The themes of Walking on Wild Air are about love, and loss. About family, and a kinship that holds strong down the ages. But the principal theme of the book can be described with a single word: Sacrifice.
About the author:
Yvonne Marjot is a lost kiwi, now living on a Scottish island. She has been making up stories and poems for as long as she can remember, and once won a case of port in a poetry competition. Her paranormal romance, Walking on Wild Air, is published by Ocelot Press, and her trilogy of archaeological romances, beginning with The Calgary Chessman, will also come out with Ocelot during 2020. Her short story collection, Treacle and Other Twisted Tales, is available from Crooked Cat Publishing.
You can follow her in any of these places:
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7234343.Yvonne_Marjot where she welcomes questions.
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheCalgaryChessman/ and my friendly group https://www.facebook.com/groups/613652062059888/