My Scottish bookshelf – Zoe Strachan’s new book
A few years ago at the Ullapool Book Festival Zoe Strachan introduced her then work in progress with a graphic and amusing passage set in an Ayrshire urinal. As I recall a dozy early Sunday morning audience woke up with a start.
Now we have the complete work and Ever fallen in love which turns out to be a touching and gentle tale of a university friendship and its aftermath, set somewhere north of Ullapool and somewhere that looks and sounds like St.Andrews. The novel alternates between Richard’s life now as a video games developer, living alone on a croft and receiving a visit from his sister – and his experience as a student where, at eighteen, he falls under the spell of Luke.
The scene in the urinal is still there, pungent as ever, but it is Zoe Strachan’s clever evocation of student life in the 1990s and her depiction of the long-running emotional consequences of betrayal which will stay in the memory.