Surging out of the sea, the Bass Rock has for centuries watched over the lives that pass under its shadow on the Scottish mainland. And across the centuries the fates of three women are linked: to this place, to each other.
In the early 1700s, Sarah, accused of being a witch, flees for her life.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, Ruth navigates a new house, a new husband and the strange waters of the local community.
Six decades later, the house stands empty. Viv, mourning the death of her father, catalogues Ruth's belongings and discovers her place in the past - and perhaps a way forward.
Each woman's choices are circumscribed, in ways big and small, by the men in their lives. But in sisterhood there is the hope of survival and new life. Intricately crafted and compulsively readable, The Bass Rock burns bright with anger and love.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A powerful critique of men’s capacity for violence, Evie Wyld’s ambitious third novel won the 2021 Stella Prize. The Bass Rock follows three women on Scotland’s North Berwick coast during three distinct eras: the early 1700s, the aftermath of World War II and the modern day. Told in a mix of first- and third-person narration, the story shows just how insidious domestic abuse can be, regardless of the time period. But despite its bleaker turns and moody gothic undertones, there are strong themes of hope and resilience here. With flowing, intimate prose, Wyld invites us to share in her characters’ struggles and triumphs alike.