Two Closes and a Referendum by Mary McCabe

Two Closes and a Referendum   by Mary McCabe

two closes PRINT

Two Closes and a Referendum is an engaging tale of ordinary people in an extraordinary time. This novel brilliantly captures the growing excitement and fervour of the 2014 Independence Referendum that changed Scotland forever, as ordinary citizens explored their identity and wrestled with the hopes and fears that surrounded the choice they were asked to make.

The novel has already earned serious praise from eminent Scots critics.

In the words of Billy Kay, the author of  Scots: The Mither Tongue:

Mary McCabe’s previous work Stirring the Dust was a linguistic tour de force which celebrated the rich diversity of the Scots language from Banffshire to the Banks of Clyde. Here with Two Closes and a Referendum, once again she demonstrates  an acute  ear for dialogue, and a lug tuned perfectly to the speech of Glasgow in the 21st century wi gleg observations on a wheen Glesga fowk.

This novel is a poignant recollection of a dramatic year in her city’s history –  one which united and divided its people – the year of the Scottish Referendum of 2014. There are love affairs lost and found, tensions between people and dilemmas within people played out against the compelling narrative of a populace desperately wanting hope to triumph over fear.

The author has a lifetime of political activism to draw from and conveys this in a series of linked cameos and vignettes of people who embody those hopes, fears, loves and hates in a city confronting momentous change. We ken whit side the author wis on, but that disnae stop her embracing the great humanity of the multitude of kenspeckle characters inhabiting her city.

Linda Fabiani, former Minster of Culture in the Scottish Government, stated:

I enjoy Mary McCabe’s writing – so glad that the follow up to ‘Stirring the Dust’ covers such an important Scottish experience. Mary’s characters talk the way me and my friends do, invoking memories and emotions. Our independence referendum brought passion, joy and heartache: Mary McCabe tells that story.

Elspeth King, Director, Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum commented:

Mary McCabe’s Two Closes and a Referendum summons up the magic and pace of the political contest in 2014. If you enjoyed the fight, or even if you missed it, this is the book for you.

Mary McCabe is the author of two other books, available from Ringwood Publishing:  Everwinding Timesa novel about ordinary people, is still as relevant and insightful today as when it was first published. Stirring the Dust, a family biography, which received much critical praise when first published in 2012.


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