Emotional Geology by Linda Gillard

Emotional Geology is set in the island of North Uist, off the coast of Scotland. The novel is about Rose, a middle-aged textile artist who also suffers from bi-polar disorder. She finds Calum in Uist, who is both a teacher and poet. These two people are both fragile in their own ways, and they are both struggling with their pasts. This novel deals with topics of madness, creativity, and suicide to name a few. Rose interprets some of Calum’s poems into quilts, and when I read the book a second time I found it very interesting that we never actually get to read one of Calum’s poems, and yet I felt like I had read them...just like I felt that I had touched Rose’s quilts. Rose speaks to us sometimes in this novel through poetry and through letters she writes to her daughter. The book almost felt like one of Rose’s quilts- each memory, letter and poem made pieces of different textures, that all came together in the end to form a quilt, and this quilt formed a scrapbook of Rose’s struggle to survive (both mentally and physically). Another reason why I liked this book so much was because the characters had secrets that were not revealed to the reader until later on in the novel. The characters in this novel knew a lot more than they were letting on and it was fun to go back and re-read the novel after the secrets were revealed. The second time I read the novel was a completely different experience than the first time. I read this book in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down. I was lost in Rose’s mind, in her quilts, in Calum’s poetry...and I was lost in their past...making it nearly impossible to put down this book. Emotional Geology was a very moving and fascinating read and I would definitely recommend it.

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