Faced with a choice between her harsh farming life and the seductive but distant world of books and learning, Chris Guthrie eventually decides to remain in her rural community, bound by her intense love of the land. However, the intervention of the First World War leaves her choice in tatters. Chris is now a widowed single mother: her farm, and the land it occupies, is altered beyond recognition—trees torn down, people displaced. But although the novel describes a way of life which is in decline, it also presents a strong image of hope. Chris adapts to her new world, displaying an intuitive strength which, like the land which she loves, endures despite everything. Sunset Song is a testament to Scotland's agricultural past, to the world of crofters and tradition which was destroyed in the First World War. It is a powerful description of life in the first few decades of the century through the evocation of change and the lyrical intensity of its prose.
Year of Publication
There’s always room for a classic! Don’t just read it for school… read it for enjoyment too! Katrina Lucas
Lewis Grassic Gibbon was born in Auchterless and started working as a journalist for the Aberdeen Journal and the Scottish Farmer at age 16. In 1919 he joined the Royal Army Service Corps and didn't begin writing full-time until 1929. Mitchell wrote numerous books and shorter works under both his real name and his nom de plume before his early death in 1935 of peritonitis. Mitchell attracted attention from his earliest attempts at fiction, notably from H. G. Wells, but it was his trilogy entitled A Scots Quair, and in particular its first book Sunset Song, with which he made his mark.