Gail Wylie, Director of the festival which takes place annually in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, said –
After an extremely close contest, Merryn Glover’s novel Of Stone and Sky emerged as the winner of this year’s silver bookmark. Set in the Highlands, this marvellous novel, a depiction over the decades of a Cairngorm community, is an enthralling read that is perfect for book groups.Gail Wylie, Festival Director
The prize, now in its second year, was awarded by a panel of judges which was composed of author and critic Rosemary Goring, Pat Richards of the Blairgowrie Development Trust, journalist Magnus Linklater, author Shona MacLean and teacher and lecturer Graham Williamson. They selected Of Stone and Sky as the winner from a shortlist of six novels, saying that it has ‘the greatest sweep and greatest achievement of all six’.
Of Stone and Sky tells the story of the aftermath of the disappearance of shepherd Colvin Munro. A mysterious trail of his possessions is found in the Cairngorm mountains. Writing the eulogy for his memorial years later, his foundling-sister Mo seeks to discover why he vanished. Younger brother Sorley is also haunted by his absence and driven to reveal the forces that led to Colvin’s disappearance. Is their brother alive or dead?
Set on a farming estate in the upper reaches of the River Spey, Of Stone and Sky follows several generations of a shepherding family in a paean to the bonds between people, their land and way of life.
‘Her depiction of a Cairngorm community and its people is utterly convincing’Anonymous judge
The judges commented that the novel ‘does not romanticise Highland life and is very acute on class barriers, prejudice against Travellers, the low status of Gaelic’. Merryn lives in the Highlands and was the first Writer in Residence at the Cairngorm National Park in 2019. Of Stone and Sky is her second novel. She is also the author of A House Called Askival (2014), four radio plays for BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Scotland and numerous short stories. She was born in Kathmandu and grew up in Nepal, India and Pakistan. Australian by citizenship, she has called Scotland home for over 25 years.
‘It makes the point that the land is what endures and the land is what matters’Anonymous judge
The Bookmark Book of the Year prize is a silver bookmark, made by silversmith Sarah Cave, and an invitation to the festival in Blairgowrie in 2022. Congratulations Merryn!
Hardback | Pub: 06 May 2021£16.99
‘An enthralling mystery, family saga and Sunset Song-esque ode to the land’ – The Herald, 25 Summer Reads Longlisted for the Highland Book Prize 2021 Winner of the Bookmark Book Festival Book of the Year 2021 After Highland…
Of Stone and Sky will be released in paperback in March 2022.