With Scots preparing to vote in the September 2014 referendum, A Capital Union, the new novel by Victoria Hendry published on August 29, takes a step back into the recent Scottish past in order to shine a light on the universal issues of loyalty, identity and independence.
Set in World War II Edinburgh, it tells the story of Ayrshire lass Agnes Thorne, who’s just seventeen, newly wed, and gamely trying to be a dutiful wife and fine Edinburgh lady. However, aloof city folk are testing her spirit – as is her husband Jeff, who is a committed member of the recently founded SNP and refusing to enlist in the British Army. Agnes thinks Jeff should stop fretting about Westminster and get on with fighting Hitler. Ultimately, she will have to choose: between loyalty to her husband, or finding her own way.
Author Victoria Hendry says, “A Capital Union looks at what we owe our partners in union, regardless of whether it’s marital union, or political union. It also asks what can be done when a union feels or becomes unequal. This is an especially difficult question for the weaker party in any union.
“Anyone with an interest in the Scottish independence movement in general will like the book: it’s set in the 1940s, yet many of the issues it raises still resonate today.
“I also hope people will enjoy reading a book that explores these big themes told from a female perspective, which is all too often missing from accounts of history.”
Agnes Thorne certainly is a vivacious, grounded and disarming narrator in this highly accomplished debut novel, which has an exceptional paciness and some genuinely big surprises in store for the reader.
A Capital Union is being launched on August 28 at a special event with author Victoria Hendry at Blackwell’s South Bridge store in Edinburgh. More details coming soon.