Between Grandmother Mountain and the cold sea, Alaia and her family live off the land. But when one of her brothers goes hunting and never returns, the fragile balance of life is upset. Half-starved and maddened with grief, Alaia’s mother follows her visions and goes in search of her lost son.
The Gathering Night is a story of conflict, loss, love, adventure and devastating natural disaster.
This gripping novel is set deep in our stone-age past, but resonates as a parable for our troubled planet 8,000 years on.
“A vivid tale … both lyrical and matter-of-fact, at times touched with humour … Perhaps the most telling achievement of The Gathering Night is that it persuades us to accept its entirely different value-system without a qualm, and even to regret that humanity ever thought of swapping the hunter’s spear for the tiller’s spade.”
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“Employing her considerable skills as a historical novelist, Elphinstone imagines the lives of the hunter-gatherers who thrived in the period from the end of the Ice Age until the adoption of agriculture … Imagination is well-woven with avid research … The reader is ultimately engaged by Elphinstone’s beguiling prose to listen well to the strange stories of struggle, stoicism and survival coursing throughout this challenging novel.”
independent On Sunday
“Elphinstone is a fine purveyor or evocative literary historical fiction … Excellently researched, it wears that knowledge lightly, concentrating on the human heart of the tale.”
“A brilliant fictional evocation of a time that’s usually given short shrift in history books … At the core of The Gathering Night is a very human story, a complex tale of love, revenge, murder and honour, a book that managed to be both gripping in terms of plot, engaging with character psychology and a hugely evocative exploration of time and place.”
Margaret Elphinstone is the author of nine previous novels, including Light, Voyageurs and The Sea Road. Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies. She lives in Glasgow.