Book O Caledonia

Janet lies murdered beneath the castle stairs, oddly attired in her mother's black lace wedding dress, lamented only by her pet jackdaw...

The theme of Family features strongly in the work of Raffaella's parents. Elspeth Barker’s novel “O Caledonia”, which won four prizes and was shortlisted for the Whitbread, evokes a haunting but humorous picture of her upbringing in a Scottish boys’ boarding school run by her father, and the close relationship between a mother and daughter.

Like her daughter, Elspeth Barker evokes a rich imagery through her descriptions of surrounding landscapes that capture the dark essence of the world in which her story unfolds.

“A sparky, funny work of genius about class, romanticism, social tradition and literary tradition, and one of the best least-known novels of the 20th century”
Ali Smith