Title: No Great Mischief
Authors: MacLeod, Alistair
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 262
Year: 2001
Language: English
Description: In 1779, driven out of his home, Calum MacDonald sets sail from the Scottish Highlands with his extensive family. After a long, terrible journey he settles his family in 'the land of trees' until they become a separate Nova Scotian clan: red-haired and black-eyed, with its own identity, its own history.

Canadian writer MacLeod says: "In many ways [the book] is about the loss of a way of being." A tale that frequently switches from the folkloric past of a Celtic immigrant family forced from the Scottish Highlands in 1779 to that of the present narrator, Alexander MacDonald, a Nova Scotia descendant.

Winner IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, 2001.

Comments from Groups:

What an amazing story. For once we were all in agreement, and had a great discussion around the relevant questions. We each found different passages in the novel that struck a chord, and this created further discussion. A book to be recommended. Isla Bank 001

We felt this book had beautiful, evocative prose. It was easy to visualise the scenery and the situations described. There was some debate about what the book was actually 'about'. Auckland 105

Very enjoyable - beautiful language. We enjoyed the repetition of vivid images - which didn't become mundane. We would have liked a little bit more about the history of Canada however. Wellington 008

We either liked it or not! We wondered if the pervasive sense of loss was either empathised with (or rejected) depending on one's own life experiences. Dunedin 061

A 50/50 split between 'likers' and 'dislikers' of this book. During discussion however, most thought the author's use of words was haunting - his descriptions evoking lots of discussion. Whangamata 001

We all enjoyed it. It's a great read - an excellent story with a clear style and lovely use of language. Wellington 050

Categories: Fiction, Award Winner, Historical, Social commentary/perspectives, Canada, Scotland, What's Hot, Blind Foundation book


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