Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Now May You Weep by Deborah Crombie


Now May You Weep - ninth in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series
by Deborah Crombie
mystery, 2003
Kindle book - 18
finished, 4/17/11

Right from the start this book felt darker, more ominous than the others I've read. I couldn't put my finger on why that was. And then I began to think that the reader is meant to feel this way because we are identifying in a way with Gemma James. She is disoriented. Part of her world as she knew it, is not as Gemma believed it to be. An old friend is not as she seemed. A life that Gemma viewed as 'perfect' is anything but. And here again, we are made aware of Deborah Crombie's genius as a writer. Don't each of us sometimes look at another's life as so much better, easier, happier than our own? And we do so because we do not know all the details of that life. For the most part we see what a person chooses to show us. And I think, too that when we are upset in our own lives, we don't always look at others with a clear eye. Gemma thought she knew her friend well. They had endless talks in the evenings after their children had gone to bed. But as the events of this book unfold, Gemma realizes that in this relationship she has done most of the talking. Her friend has helped Gemma through her problems, without sharing her own. It is only when they go on a weekend trip to the Scottish Highlands for a cooking class that she finds out the truth.

And while she is gone, Duncan Kincaid has a deep personal trouble of his own. A disagreeable, cruel, perhaps unhinged woman from his past could irrevocably change his present and future happiness.

The book switches back from the present to older days - this time Scotland in the years just before 1900 - connecting people and places. Memories are long here.
To a Highlander, a hundred years is nothing at all.
I very much enjoyed the parts of the book which talked about whisky. It's a funny thing. I don't like the taste of whisky and don't drink it, but I am fascinated by the process.
... the water that went into the whisky came from the spring that bubbled up fromthe gently rolling grounds. In the making of whisky, the quality of the water was all-important, a Highland distillery's greatest asset.

Speyside is famous for its single malt whiskies. Some say it provides the perfect combination of water, peat, and barley.
The weather plays a big part in all of Deborah Crombie's books, and nowhere is it as strong a force as in this area of Scotland. In one of the flashback passages we learn that:
... in this weather, Grantown-on-Spey, only fourteen miles away was an impossible journey. ... The Braes of Glenlivet in a snowstorm were as isolated and godforsaken as the moon. There would be no help until the storm broke - even then it might take days to clear the roads.
A character's father and sister were killed in a climbing accident because of 'an early snowstorm. It was four days before Mountain Rescue found their bodies.' And at a critical point of the book, Gemma must travel through snow.
The snow grew heavier as she crawled along the track that led into the Braes, her sense of urgency mounting. By the time she reached Chapeltown, she could see only a few feet in front of her car, but she kept going along the farm track...
I found this book riveting, from the diary entries in the past to the story in the present, and from the solving of a murder to the more personal situations Gemma and Duncan are going through. Another excellent book in this series.

4 comments:

  1. I like Deborah Crombie's books. For a Texan, she writes English stories very well.
    Ann

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yet another great-sounding book for my list. Sigh! The list is assuming monumental proportions.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love Crombie's books....And I don't think I have read this one yet....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ann, Barbara, and Kristi, she is a wonderful writer!

    ReplyDelete

Now that I am a grandmother, it seems that I am often late in replying to your most-appreciated comments. But I read them as soon as they come in, and I will write as soon as I can. Please do come back and check. I love these blogging conversations. A little addendum - I've just spent quite a long time catching up with dear notes you left me months ago!! I do hope you can get back to read them. And I'm trying to be much more prompt now!

Also, you may comment on any post, no matter how old, and I will see it.