Fantastic Debut Novel by Anna Larner
Eve Eddison describes her ideal woman to her best friend, Roxanne, over pints in their local pub a few days before she travels to the Scottish Highlands. There she falls head over heels for an enigmatic local, Moira Burns, and the usually reticent Eve wants more than a holiday romance. Forestry officer Moira Burns has no intention of letting go—either of past pain or for present pleasure. If that means she misses out on her chance at happiness, so be it. Convinced Eve is headed for heartbreak, Roxanne advises her to let Moira go…but has Eve found her ideal woman at last?
From the breathtaking Highlands of Scotland to the buzz of a Leicester gay bar, family and friendship are tested to breaking point, as letting go proves painfully hard.
Firstly I’m Scottish so a Lesbian Romance set in the highlands is like the key to my heart. Two of my greatest loves are books and the Scottish Highlands so I felt like this book was a winner for me from the day I read the synopsis. Anna Larner describes the highlands with such beautiful portrayals that it’s almost wax-poetic. I could almost breathe the fresh air that reminds me of the Scottish countryside… I’m almost booking my ticket home for a visit.
Highland Fling is based on two very independent and loving women from two very different worlds. The book starts off with Eve describing her perfect woman and guess who she finds in the Highlands…
Moira lives in the Highlands and her sexuality is somewhat of a secret but in an intriguing way. She’s all about the world that is the Scottish outdoors and can’t see her life anywhere else. Eve is from Leicester, England, where she works as a librarian and hangs out with her best friend in their favorite gay club. Eve is quite a bit younger than Moira but that doesn’t seem to be a massive issue for them, don’t get me wrong its mentioned but doesn’t seem to be the biggest obstacle these two face.
I can normally work out the plot in a book after reading the first few chapters and I thought I had with this book but it just kept surprising me at every turn! I had a few moments of “Really did I just read that?” and “did she just say that?”. I love when a book does this because you feel the writer is writing outside the box. Traditionally Lesfic seems to follow certain rules and I love a rule breaker.
The chemistry between the main protagonists was definitely intense but the heartache of past relationships was quite confronting to read. Moira has flashbacks once or twice and writes an emotional letter to Eve to give insight into the most profound relationship that changed her life prior to meeting Eve. Until the letter part of the book I favoured Eve as a character but that letter literally blew me away, to the point that I was teary reading it. It made me love Moira so much more than I thought I could and changed the course of the book.
The only negatives were firstly, that the second time Eve goes to the Highlands, I felt there might have been a little bit too much to-ing and fro-ing. In a way I understand why the author did that, it was almost to project the inner turmoil and grief, it just felt a bit slow in the pacing. Secondly, I would have loved to have seen an epilogue. These characters still had obstacles to over come and a brief update a year or two after would have completed the story for me. This is probably to do with my obsession that every ending needs to be a happy ending and to be secured in concrete.
All in all, I loved Highland Fling and think Anna Larner will definitely be an author I’ll be watching out for. 4.5 Stars
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