My Friends George and Tom

Jane Duncan

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27 August 2015
304 pages

Janet Sandison comes home to the small fishing village of Achcraggan in Scotland. Behind her are ten years of happiness with her husband Twice, whose death has brought to an end their life on the island of St Jago in the West Indies. Before her lies a new career as a novelist and a return to the countryside of her childhood-and above all to George and Tom who were her closest friends, mentors and allies, in those early days. But now, Reachfar, the family croft on the hill overlooking Poyntdale Bay, has been sold and George and Tom in their old age are living cheerfully if haphazardly in Jemima Cottage in the village.

Janet, George and Tom quickly take up their lives together after nearly forty years apart; Janet buys and converts an old barn on the shore and the three of them set up house. Janet, who has not found it easy to face the loss of her beloved Twice nor to adjust to the strange new world of the professional writer, rediscovers with delight that the old Reachfar values still hold a firm grip on her family and neighbours, but the one thing she cannot face is the ruin of the Reachfar croft itself. Not even the urging of her young nephews and niece- the Hungry Generation-will persuade her to climb the hill. This psychological problem is only a small part of the dramas and happenings, some sad, some joyous, which fill the pages of this enchanting and wonderfully enjoyable book.

Readers of any or all of Jane Duncan's 'Friends' novels will rejoice particularly in My Friends George and Tom, for the wise and funny characters of the title have played important supporting parts in many of the earlier books and finally have a book which is triumphantly their own.