Some folk are born wild. Some have wildness thrust upon them. When Lorna discovers the body of her childhood friend, Lachie, tangled by the tide on a Hebrides beach long-submerged family secrets and murderous truths rise to the surface threatening to wash away everything she holds dear. The Wild Folk, set on the beautiful Isle of Coll, melds modern realism and ancient, archetypal folklore with an elegance and sparsity of words that leaves the reader reeling, and joyfully so.
Praise for The Wild Folk:
“Other worldly, beautifully crafted and so evocative. The words paint pictures of a landscape that is at once familiar and fairy tale. So glad I found this book. It is a keeper.” Alison Whitaker
“The Wild Folk consumed my weekend. All other plans put aside as I dived deeper into this mesmerising book. Simultaneously an exquisitely-written memoir of childhood on an island off the west coast of Scotland and a haunting whodunnit, each sentence is woven with magic.
Not the kind of magic that distracts us from very human dramas, but the kind that reminds us that magic is always just out of sight, bobbing in on the Atlantic tides. I haven’t been as absorbed in a book since reading The Wasp Factory 25 years ago and The Wild Folk is somehow reminiscent of that – compelling, unpredictable with richly drawn characters and details I recognise from my own childhood. This book is Scottish in the wildest truest sense, rather than parochial or twee. Innocent yet worldly wise.
Beautiful yet a little bit disturbing. Love and friendship play on island beaches alongside cruelty and dysfunction. The kind of story that gets under your skin and ignites the wildness in your heart. The best book I’ve read all year.” Jackie Stewart, flowerspirit.co.uk
“Lovely magical realism … The Wild Folk uses remarkable language to evoke the haunting magic of rural Scotland. Some of the imagery and even just the sentence structure was really stunning and emotional, especially at the end of the novel.” S C Langgle
“I absolutely loved this book and cried buckets at the end. The descriptions of Coll are superb (I’d just returned from a holiday there and the author took me straight back) and the story unfolded beautifully so I couldn’t wait to get back to it each time. The book challenges us to set aside our modern Western, science-based way of thinking, and believe that there just might be something more to life on Earth.” Mary E
“A story out of the treasure chest of the Hebrides and a delight to the senses. If you are old enough to remember the damp warmth and smell in a barn while milking a cow, or young at heart enough to love walking barefoot on sandy ground or through heather, if you love sounds and texture and colours – nature in short – you will enjoy the reading throughout. Flora Kennedy is a great observer and draws from an incredible richness of impressions.
Not only do the main characters in the story see, listen, touch and smell delightful details but the author has the rare skill to transform such experiences into beautiful, rich and lively words and sentences…..and you are there, on the island, where everyday life and other-worldly tales may still live side by side.” Loriana Pauli
“The story transports you to a place that seems all too real and modern and yet dangerous and mythological all at once. Beautifully written, with language so visceral it creates a world that while foreign to most readers, will seem instantly familiar and vivid. Kennedy’s characters are drawn with loving care and her descriptions of the island and the sea surrounding it are striking. A stirring mystery on many levels, I loved this book.” Mizenkay
“Compelling, well-written, haunting. I loved it. Stays with you long after reading.” Stacy Pond
“A beautiful, mysterious and moving novel. Ms. Kennedy has a special talent for evoking time and place. She brings to life a small Scottish fishing isle with the poetry and assurance that can be favourably compared to Dylan Thomas’ capturing of his home town in Wales. Part psychological mystery, part love story, part magic, “The Wild Folk” is a masterful novel by a writer we hope to here more from in the future.” Alpine
“Gritty storytelling with a magical twist. Wonderfully well-written, the poetic language and the rawness of the story suck you into the tides of folklore before you notice what is happening. Hugely enjoyable … Hugely recommended.” Misty365
“Mesmerising tale. Expertly woven. So human and other worldly at the same time.” Kelly Tankersley
“Look, a book about people like me,” said a friend when they read the synopsis on the back cover. There are not enough novels that tells stories about “people like me”.
“The Wild Folk” is that rare and most beautiful thing: an authentic and original narrative voice. Flora Kennedy tells a compelling story with conviction and poetry. The rhythm of her language is entirely her own and utterly absorbing.
This novel is an exquisite pearl sculpted from the oyster’s grit. It is peopled with characters caught by many of life’s profound conflicts and compromises. The author’s brave handling of these faces dark home truths with humour, wits and a female wisdom that goes unrecognised in most of our lives. It is a tonic to read a story that acknowledges this.
This is the first book I read on Kindle and once started, I had to read to the end in one sitting. Then again when I got the paperback edition. I am hungry to read the author’s next book, and then the next.” Beatrix A. Wood
I started reading this book on Kindle and couldn’t stop, it was riveting… then I was given a paperback copy which I am enjoying, the characters and events are so true to how I was brought up on South Uist, it is just amazing how she describes the gathering of the sheep in particular, the islanders and their ways, the sheer poetry of her words. Flora Kennedy is a very gifted writer and I hope to read more from her in the future. I would highly recommend The Wild Folk.” Kirsty Walker Western Isles
“I loved this book from beginning to end. Kennedy’s elegant prose is a joy to read, and with it she weaves a bewitching story, the sort that stays with you, whether or not its haunts are familiar or if she paints a new picture for you of the Scottish isles. Most highly recommended.” Dr. Cleodhna Nightshade
“What a superb read. I’ve been taken on the most beautifully descriptive tour of the Hebridean Isles where the author manages to seamlessly include people and elements from other lands, for instances the New Zealand Maori shearers. Feeling literally secure on the Isle of Coll with trips to Oban the author tugs at the reader’s heartstrings with the quality of deep relationships (beautiful and troublesome) and weaves in subsequent mysteries that beg to be understood. What delighted me was the theme of a favourite tale of mine – Sealskin – only in this book it is the masculine character that craves union with the seals and the sea.” Barbara, New Zealand
“5/5 stars. An interesting and gripping story mixing the real and fantasy worlds in equal parts, leaving you thinking about its feasibility.” Martin