The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld: Your Preview Verdict

The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld: Your Preview Verdict

Surging out of the sea, the Bass Rock has for centuries watched over the lives that pass under its shadow on the Scottish mainland. And across the centuries the fates of three women are linked: to this place, to each other. The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld intertwine three different stores and timelines to create a wonderful, full story.

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The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld was a great read. The stories are fascinating and seeing how the are woven together is brilliant. Really enjoyed it – Elizabeth, NSW, 5 stars

The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld is amazing, powerful, thought provoking. I couldn’t put it down. A wonderful story spread over three timelines is brilliant. I’m loving books that are doing this lately & is something that has gotten me back into reading. Being a father of two daughters I’ll definitely be getting them to read this when they are older. It does make you stop & think about how you treat women in your life. Going from the 1700-1950-2000 it shows how we want change but still don’t have it as much as we want. Thank you so much Better Reading for my advance copy. – Terry, NSW, 5 stars

The Bass Rock is my kind of complicated book. It began slowly, but before I knew it, I was so enraptured, I stayed up half the night to finish it. It is a tale in three parts. The first in the 1720s where a young, suspected Witch is being transported to the coast in Scotland. The second in the years after WW2 where Ruth finds herself stepmother to two young boys in an isolated house near the sea. The third, fifty years later where Viviane is cataloguing the contents of her grandmothers’ home by the sea and unearthing family secrets. I loved the way the stories wove in and out of each other, revealing a little more with each turn. The stories are of women, but also of the power of men, over women and children and sometimes other men. I give it five stars! – Daniella, QLD, 5 stars

Such an interesting book set in Scotland with a lot of different characters some good some bad, Maggie is a great character as is Viv poor Ruth is stuck is a strange marriage ( no spoilers ) I really enjoyed this book – Deborah, NSW, 4 stars

Three women, three different time periods but their lives are still connected. 1700s A young girl Sarah is accused of being a witch and is taken in by a priest and his son who are trying to save her. 1950s Ruth a step mother and replacement wife to Peter is living in a large house overlooking the Bass Rock. The children are at boarding school and her new husband is often away so she is left to herself with the ghosts of the old house. 2000s Vivienne is sorting and cataloguing the remains of her grandmothers seaside house. Her mother has suggested it would be a good ‘job’ for her as she is at a loose end after the trauma of losing her father. Each woman’s place is intrinsically linked to those that came before and to the Bass Rock A multigenerational, multi layered story that grips you from the start. How are these women’s lives connected and what significance does the Bass Rock have? A truly wonderful piece of work by Evie Wyld. – Karyn, ACT, 4 stars

The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld is a compelling and well written story that touches on some very serious issues regarding the power and dominance of men. Three women Sarah, Ruth and Viv from very different backgrounds and time periods have lives that are linked to each other and the house that lies in the shadow of Bass Rock. I found it to be confronting and at times confusing as each woman’s story is told concurrently. It was quite dark and it could be distressing for some readers as themes of violence, madness and sexual predation are interwoven in the lives of the women . The psychological and physical damage that is done to the women and children in the book is not always spelt out and a lot of the horror comes from the imagination of the reader. The Bass Rock, whilst thought provoking, was not an uplifting or happy book and is certainly not suitable for everyone. – Janelle, NSW, 4 stars

I like this kind of book historical fiction. Great characters and lovely outdoor setting. Loved the story was well written and will read it again. – Beth, TAS, 5 stars

Evie Wyld’s ‘The Bass Rock’ weaves the stories of three complicated women living at a damp and cold Scottish town in three different times in history. A suspected witch, on the run from a town of angry villagers. A replacement wife, always in the shadow of the deceased ‘real’ mother of two boys and unable to measure up to ‘perfect’ wife of a misogynist businessman. A scattered and lonely middle-aged woman, set to return to an ancient family home to catalogue any precious ancient heirlooms left at the property before its sale. The landscape remains the same over the centuries and the power struggle between man and woman change as little as the waves that crash upon the lichen covered rocks. There are ghosts who waft into the story, unobtrusive spectators of a scene in which woman fall to the mercies of arrogant man. The reader joins the untouchable onlookers, without their wisdom or knowledge. Wyld writes lyrically of the characters and landscapes. It is the women’s emotional and relational journeys that drive the story. The witch-hunt and following escape reek of power and fear not unlike ‘The Crucible’. Ruth’s post war, newlywed drama reads like a sweeping historical saga. My favourite is Vivien’s modern storyline. It is reminiscent of ‘Eleanor Oliphant is completely Fine’ in its humour and poignancy. The different tales are woven together to depict horrific violence against women, some of the mysteries in the struggle for identity, and the battle for respect in human relationships. – Amy, NSW, 4 stars

The stories of Ruth and Viv drew me in, particularly Ruth’s, the second wife clearly married as a replacement rather than for love. This not a light summer read but is a character driven study of women trapped in their life by circumstance, men and personal issues. I found the character of Sarah not as deeply drawn as the others and not as clearly linked as the other two. This story has many layers and well worth rereading – Juanita, NSW, 4 stars

The Bass Rock This is a read that stayed with me after I’d finished reading it. I flipped the sequences around in my head, picking out the important messages. The pace was spot on for me, the mood and plots intertwined without feeling disjointed. It unfolded in a way that made me wanting more but the storytelling enveloped me. The characters were all in pain, their emotional journeys were realistic and beautiful thought out. This style of writing was descriptive and atmospheric without being heavy to read. I really loved this book with its subtle shocks dropped in. – Kellie, SA, 5 stars

Clever! Thoroughly enjoyed the back and forth of the different timelines, and seeing how the timelines were interweaved as the novel progressed. Quite dark and disturbing material, however it wasn’t oppressive due to some of the unique and quirky characters. A novel that gets your brain ticking. Well crafted. – Regina, NSW, 4 stars

a wonderful book that flows through three different time periods. Each one is brought to life by the interesting characters and the haunting plot. riveting, i could not put it down. – Kristy, NSW, 4 stars

The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld is a well written and enjoyable read that weaves together the lives of three women across the span of four centuries. Each womans complicated and troubled life is set against the backdrop of the Bass Rock on the Scottish mainland. As each story unfolds links between the womens lives emerge as well as the similarities in their stories. Each woman dealing with controlling and violent men and surviving by the power of there female friendships and bonds that help them to heal. I look forward to reading more by this author. – Rebecca, NSW, 4 stars

A post-war wife attempting to measure up and fit into her new family. A Scottish coastal village whose surface belies a less-than-wholesome past. A house that holds the echoes of the evil deeds. A twenty-first century granddaughter uncovering the past. And an eighteenth-century girl branded with the taint of her mother’s unconventional lifestyle. Wyld weaves their stories together and immerses the reader in an enthralling tale. – Marianne, NSW, 5 stars

THE BASS ROCK -The characters and their relationship to each other slowly take form over the telling of the intricate and subtle story. This book is not plot driven, it deals with trivial and often inconsequential details of each scene, in roughly three different time lines. For this type of book to interest the reader the prose must be magical and poetic and this is indeed the case. It conjures up brilliantly scenes of a dysfunctional and disturbed, small coastal Scottish community and shocks the reader by showing how a newly arrived family can be effected by various obnoxious local characters. The violent episodes that regularly occur, support the main contention that all males have an animal side that will materialize in the form of the rape, brutality, and or psychological abuse of females, without exception. Any reader will be disappointed by expecting that all or any loose ends of the story will be tied up. Reading it was akin to visiting the dentist but I found that I was wanting to make repeat appointments. – Debbie, VIC, 4 stars

Well written with believable characters, I found it easy to read and would recommend to my friends. – Lynette, NSW, 4 stars

Narrated in multiple time lines The Bass Rock is dark and evocative. A story of three women living decades apart yet their lives are interwoven and uncannily similar in their oppression. Set in the sea side town of North Berwick in Scotland and with a backdrop of the Bass Rock it lends an ethereal feel to the story. The change in time is not heralded by a chapter heading however Wyld makes it easily recognisable by the change in prose to adapt to the era. A thought provoking read. Highly recommended for Historical Fiction fans. – Veronica, NSW, 4 stars

I enjoyed following the stories of the main characters and felt invested in them. Though there were suggestions of how they entwined as people and with their environment I really wasn’t sure how it was all going to culminate. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. – Shannon, NSW, 4 stars

Beautifully descriptive writing draws you into the interwoven lives of three women across different time periods and the significance of Bass Rock in the Scottish highlands. These women live troubled lives and as the the story unfolds we come to understand how these women are linked and how they battle and survive their terrible circumstances. The use of multiple timelines successfully conveys the unfortunate reality that violence and abuse of women has been going on for far too long. – M Manalo, NSW, 4 stars

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            Publisher details

            The Bass Rock
            Evie Wyld
            26 March, 2020


            The lives of three women weave together across four centuries in the dazzling new book from Evie Wyld, a Granta Best of Young British NovelistRuth, 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 readable, The Bass Rock burns bright with anger and heart – a devastating indictment of the violence that men have inflicted on women throughout the ages.
            Evie Wyld
            About the author

            Evie Wyld

            Evie Wyld grew up in Australia and the UK. She now runs Review, a small independent bookshop in London. Her first novel, After the Fire, A Still Small Voice, won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and a Betty Trask Award. In 2011 she was listed as one of the Culture Show's Best New British Novelists. She was also shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. In 2013 she was listed as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. Evie's second novel, All the Birds, Singing, was published in 2013. It was longlisted for the 2014 Stella Prize and the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, and shortlisted for the Costa Novel Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. She is the winner of the 2013 Encore Award, the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize and the 2014 Miles Franklin Award.

            Books by Evie Wyld


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