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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The lives of three women weave together across four centuries in the dazzling new book from Evie Wyld, a Granta Best of Young British Novelist.

Surging out of the sea, the Bass Rock has for centuries borne witness to the lives that pass under its shadow on the Scottish mainland. And across the centuries, the fates of three women are inextricably linked to this place and to each other.

Sarah, accused of being a witch, is fleeing for her life. 

Ruth, in the aftermath of the Second World War, is navigating a new marriage and the strange waters of the local community. 

Six decades later, Viv, still mourning the death of her father, is cataloguing Ruth’s belongings in the now-empty house. 

As each woman’s story unfolds, it becomes increasingly clear that their choices are circumscribed, in ways big and small, by the men who seek to control them. But in sisterhood there is also the possibility of survival and a new way of life. Intricately crafted and compulsively listenable, The Bass Rock burns bright with anger and heart - a devastating indictment of the violence that men have inflicted on women throughout the ages.

©2020 Evie Wyld (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Bass Rock

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Absolutely TERRIBLE narration of Ruth’s chapters

The narration of Ruth’s chapters were so appalling, it completely ruined this book for me

3 people found this helpful

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Great Ending

I read reviews of this book that complained about the sudden ending with no neat tying together of the threads. I thought it was great. This is a story about a place, and what has happened there not so much about resolving the people’s stories. If you have ever sat under an ancient oak and wondered who had sheltered there and what had happened, this is for you.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Directionless

I found the plot needlessly confusing and rather thin. There was an attempt at a sort of mythic poeticism but it fell short of that.
The characters, apart from Mrs Hamilton, were disappointingly ordinary.
I could see what the author was trying to achieve with the rock at its centre, but, for me, it wasn’t realised.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautifully written and narrated

This is one of the most beautifully written novels I have read for some time. The eloquence and sensitivity of the language stands out. The story is really engaging. Reading a novel is so rewarding when you find a writer who can provide insights into human behaviour.
So well read by the performers.

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  • LP
  • 18-02-21

Probably best to be experienced on the printed page.

I need to order a copy of this novel. It moves from one character to another - most of whom are linked - but I never fully grasped how all of them were connected. Evie Wyld was recommended by William Boyd (in a podcast) and he said that she moves between time frames in the same way he constructs his novels. I’m certainly impressed by her writing and story line and look forward to to rereading this novel and exploring her others. I was not impressed by the narrator for Ruth. She read in as flat tone and ran sentences into one another in a way that lost meaning. However the other narrators were ok.

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Very good but Ruth narrator realky bad at accents

Very good novel but the narrator who did the Ruth sections is terribly bad at doing accents (Weksh, Scots), which ruined it a bit for me.