Elemental PDF Ê Paperback

Elemental ☉ [PDF / Epub] ☆ Elemental By Amanda Curtin ❤ – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Nearing the end of her life, Meggie Tulloch takes up her pen to write a story for her granddaughter, Laura It begins in the first years of the twentieth century, in a place where howling winds spin sa Nearing the end of her life, Meggie Tulloch takes up her pen to write a story for her granddaughter, Laura It begins in the first years of the twentieth century, in a place where howling winds spin salt and sleet sucked up from ice floes A place where lives are ruled by men, and men by the witchy sea A place where the only thing lower than a girl in the order of things is a clever girl with accursed red hair A place schooled in keeping secrets Thirty years after her grandmother s death, Laura receives her notebooks and discovers the painful past that Meggie spent a lifetime trying to forget Moving from the north east of Scotland to the Shetland Isles to Fremantle, Australia, Elemental is a novel about the life you make from the life you are given.


10 thoughts on “Elemental

  1. Rashida Murphy Rashida Murphy says:

    Book Review Elemental by Amanda CurtinThere are so many aspects of this book that snagged my heart that I would need to do several reviews to do justice to all those aspects So I will content myself in this review at least, by saying that this is a deeply believable book, deeply forgiving and deeply lyrical As with all of Amanda Curtin s work, the language is achingly beautiful, the characters are raw and real and the story has the sweep of an elegy.When Meggie Duthie, former herring girl fr Book Review Elemental by Amanda CurtinThere are so many aspects of this book that snagged my heart that I would need to do several reviews to do justice to all those aspects So I will content myself in this review at least, by saying that this is a deeply believable book, deeply forgiving and deeply lyrical As with all of Amanda Curtin s work, the language is achingly beautiful, the characters are raw and real and the story has the sweep of an elegy.When Meggie Duthie, former herring girl from the north east of Scotland comes to Western Australia in 1910, she leaves behind an unspeakable past shadowed with the ghosts of her beloved sister, mother and that boy, Bruki s Sandy But she comes with her blue eyed cooper boy, Magnus Tulloch, who makes her a promise, who gives her his heart, breath, blood when she had none of her own p 203 Meggie s legacy to her granddaughter Laura is her story, handwritten in three thick exercise books, which Laura acquires at a time of crisis in her own life As Laura waits for her injured son Cooper to awaken from a coma, she reads her grandmother s journals and wonders if it is possible there s a gene for heroism p 418 Meggie has survived childhood in bleak Roanhaven, where her Granda Jeemsie, a glowering, scumbling, salty man, with ears like whelks and brine in his eyes, p 41 mutters balefully about the misfortune of a having a red headed child in the family Then as Fish Meggie, hands infected by gutting and salting herring but still loved by Magnus Tulloch, she loses her sister Kitta and wants to curse Jeemsie Neish for his beliefs, and every last person in Roanhaven for what they condemn and what they let to pass p 147.Laura, the granddaughter who inherits Meggie s story as a grown woman instead of the twenty one year old for whom it was intended as a birthday gift, wonders if she might have been squeamish about her grandmother s story when she was younger, whether she would have had the grace to recognise the hope contained within the grimness As she waits by the bedside of her unconscious fireman son she questions her family s dark strain of altruism, some ancestral compulsion to rush off a cliff, down a well, into a fire for others And to hell with the risks p 403 Kitta and Meggie, Clementina and Jessie, Stivvy and Magnus, Kathryn and Laura and the remote Granda and Da are people I have lived closely with this past month I read this book slowly, reluctant yet impatient to finish it, aware that it would change me as a reader and as a writer A haunting, beautiful, exquisite book and Magnus Tulloch must have the last word I will not forget you, Fish Meggie.Elemental by Amanda CurtinPublished by UWA Publishing, 2013


  2. Louise Louise says:

    Elemental is Amanda Curtin s second novel and it is a huge work, richly researched and steeped in atmosphere It takes the reader on a geographical and chronological journey from the isolated fishing village of Roanhaven on the north east coast of Scotland at the turn of the twentieth century, to the vast, blue skies of Fremantle, Western Australia, during war time It ends in 2011, in the hills around Perth.Meggie Tulloch, nee Duthie, sets out to write her life story for her grand daughter, L Elemental is Amanda Curtin s second novel and it is a huge work, richly researched and steeped in atmosphere It takes the reader on a geographical and chronological journey from the isolated fishing village of Roanhaven on the north east coast of Scotland at the turn of the twentieth century, to the vast, blue skies of Fremantle, Western Australia, during war time It ends in 2011, in the hills around Perth.Meggie Tulloch, nee Duthie, sets out to write her life story for her grand daughter, Laura Meggie writes as if she is talking to Laura, and her phrases sing with the dialect of her childhood So well does Amanda Curtin personify this wee Scottish lass, I kept wondering if she had grown up with the dialect spoken around her The style reminded me of Sebastian Barry s The Secret Scripture and this novel could well be the Scottish Australian equivalent, for the prose is equally as lyrical The novel includes an expansive glossary at the end, and I was torn between continuing to read the story and hoping the meaning would come with the context, or flicking back and forth between the chapters and the glossary In the end I used the glossary minimally, and stayed in the story It reminded me of how I read Shakespeare or watch a foreign film with subtitles it s distracting at first and I feel all adrift, but I m soon swept away by the story and forget to notice the language.My copy of Elemental is full of underlining and scribblings, gems I don t want to forget, and my defacement of a novel is directly proportional to my pleasure in it Meggie Duthie Tulloch is quite a philosopher, and her turn of phrase is delightful When things change, something new enters the space you live in, something you must move with, turn to, chafe against, until you ease a new shape for yourself But something is lost, too, in the changing, some small piece of your world gone for good And, Lambsie, there are moments in your life when it seems like the skin covering the core of you is peeled away and a new one, a harder one, begins to grow And there s plenty .Much like the weather and the coastline of the North Sea, life in isolated Roanhaven is rugged and harsh Lives are governed by nature by the weather, by the sea, by the elements Cold, pregnancy, illness, insanity, death are all part of the everyday, and there s very little that can be done to change it This is alien to our comfortable first world lives in the twenty first century where we control the climate in which we live as much as we can it doesn t control us Our lives are no longer at the mercy of nature modern medicine can cure almost everything, and if it can t, researchers are working on it We genetically engineer our crops, our animals, and even our children We don t have to get pregnant and if we do, we don t have to accept it If someone dies young, we are angry because it s not fair.Elemental takes us back to a time when the earth and nature shaped our lives and we couldn t mould it to suit us It takes us back to when human nature accepted that we are just another being on this earth, and here only fleetingly, that tragedy and loss are a part of life, and that despite its harshness, life can still be good.There s muchI could write about this novel about the strength of the women and their resilience, about female friendships, about bravery versus recklessness but I will finish here This story is carefully sculpted and shaped and will satisfy readers much like a fine dinner in which each item on the menu has been carefully chosen to complement the other Highly recommended reading.Favourite CharacterIt has to be Meggie herself, especially the young Meggie She found life in Roanhaven to be cruel and mostly not to her liking, and knew she wanted to leave She realised the way out of a bleak existence and did what she had to do, watched and learned from others and their mistakes, kept her mouth shut when necessary, worked hard, obeyed the rules, yet never lost sight of her goals or her own worth Nor did she lose sight of love Disclaimer I am red headed, too, so am perhaps a little biased Favourite SceneThe devastating yet striking scene involving Meggie s sister, Kitta, in a wild, grey ocean has stayed with me This was so vivid and poignant I won t give away any here Favourite Quotes And suddenly I know that I will never be the same again because I have felt freedom in my lungs Oh, I know that feeling of inhaling freedom, Meggie


  3. Fiona Fiona says:

    So nearly 5 stars This is a beautifully written story about Meggie, born in NE Scotland at the end of the 19th century At the end of her life, she is writing her memoirs for her granddaughter before her memory fades or she dies She talks about the harshness of a life tied to the sea Her family were fishermen and she became a herring quine , employed to gut the herring before they were layered in pickling barrels Her work took her to Lerwick in Shetland and Great Yarmouth in England Eventu So nearly 5 stars This is a beautifully written story about Meggie, born in NE Scotland at the end of the 19th century At the end of her life, she is writing her memoirs for her granddaughter before her memory fades or she dies She talks about the harshness of a life tied to the sea Her family were fishermen and she became a herring quine , employed to gut the herring before they were layered in pickling barrels Her work took her to Lerwick in Shetland and Great Yarmouth in England Eventually she and her husband, a cooper, emigrate to Australia where life in the early 20th century could also be harsh The story is full of joy and tragedy in equal measure and Meggie s voice is so strong, I felt she was telling me the story personally The title, Elemental , is in reference to the natural elements folk had to work with and against but it also ties in with the divisions of the book into water, air, earth and fire.So why only nearly 5 stars Fire is described as a coda Having been totally invested in the story of Meggie s life and mesmerised by her voice, I was rudely wrenched from the 1930s to 2011 It was a culture shock and left a sense of bereavement What connection did this have to Meggie I can t saywithout it being a spoiler but I felt this last section was a little contrived and too separate from Meggie s story The final chapter of her memoirs had been hinted at throughout as too traumatic for her to relate or come to terms with but I didn t find it anyshocking than much of what had gone before I d go so far as to say the ending is weak and contrived and spoils the rhythm of an otherwise excellent novel.Overall, the writing is often very beautiful, evocative of the harsh times Meggie lived through For that reason, I strongly recommend it and will look forward to readingof this author One last word there is a glossary at the back which contains Scots, Doric and Shetland words I can t vouch for the accuracy of them all but I can say that to describe a piece as a piece of bread is totally wrong A piece, no matter where you are in Scotland, is a sandwich I m not just being pedantic It irritates me that an otherwise well researched book should let this slip through


  4. Rosemary Atwell Rosemary Atwell says:

    A strong and highly resonant novel which embraces the disparate locations of north east Scotland, Shetland and Western Australia between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Amanda Curtin succeeds magnificently in capturing the voice of narrator Meggie Tulloch throughout, moving from childhood to maturity with sensitive and beautifully realised writing.Unfortunately the decision to place the final section in the present day and to introduce the youngest family members and a crisis A strong and highly resonant novel which embraces the disparate locations of north east Scotland, Shetland and Western Australia between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Amanda Curtin succeeds magnificently in capturing the voice of narrator Meggie Tulloch throughout, moving from childhood to maturity with sensitive and beautifully realised writing.Unfortunately the decision to place the final section in the present day and to introduce the youngest family members and a crisis into the novel s narrative core really detracts from the climax, resulting in a less than satisfying conclusion to a remarkable tour de force of creative writing and historical research


  5. Lisa Lisa says:

    As you know if you saw the Sensational Snippet that I posted about Amanda Curtin s new novel Elemental, I loved this book Curtin is an author of exceptional talent and in this novel she tugs at the heartstrings without being maudlin, sentimental or twee This is one of those novels that is at once both tender and brutal so that the reader becomes emotionally bound to the world that has been so skilfully created, not wanting to stop reading and yet not wanting the book ever to end.The central ch As you know if you saw the Sensational Snippet that I posted about Amanda Curtin s new novel Elemental, I loved this book Curtin is an author of exceptional talent and in this novel she tugs at the heartstrings without being maudlin, sentimental or twee This is one of those novels that is at once both tender and brutal so that the reader becomes emotionally bound to the world that has been so skilfully created, not wanting to stop reading and yet not wanting the book ever to end.The central character Meggie Tulloch is a tough old lady who has lived through that cruellest of centuries, the 20th In her old age, something is bothering her so profoundly that she is setting down the story of her life for her grand daughter, Laura, whom she calls lambsie Her memories are painful, and the reader feels the tension between the impulse to conceal and the will to reveal, a struggle that must be resolved in order for Meggie to explain herself and her family, for some reason that is not revealed until the end of the story.She was born near the turn of the century in the north east of Scotland when economics meant that unskilled labourers worked in atrocious conditions The men work hard, but the women s lives are a misery A man comes home from the boats to a meal by the fire and a chance to rest a while, but the women s burdens are Sisyphean They lug creels of fish for sale across the bitter landscape, and it is they who must wade into the freezing sea to hoist their menfolk into the boats so that their feet stay dry during the long hours at sea Girls take on responsibility early cooking, cleaning, endlessly knitting with frozen fingers the clothes that protect the men from the harsh winds and water What education there is, finishes early, even for a bright girl like Meggie, because superstition and tradition rule, with each succeeding generation bound to the same hopeless existence.To read the rest of my review please visit


  6. Annabel Smith Annabel Smith says:

    I m not naturally drawn to historical fiction, but I was utterly captivated by the story of Fish Meggie a girl born into a poor fishing village on a remote coast of Scotland in the 1890s and the many unexpected turns her life took.The novel is in the form of a diary, written by Meggie, in her old age, for her granddaughter Often I find the trope of an older person looking back on their life distancing, but occasionally think The Blind Assassin it really works and this is the case with M I m not naturally drawn to historical fiction, but I was utterly captivated by the story of Fish Meggie a girl born into a poor fishing village on a remote coast of Scotland in the 1890s and the many unexpected turns her life took.The novel is in the form of a diary, written by Meggie, in her old age, for her granddaughter Often I find the trope of an older person looking back on their life distancing, but occasionally think The Blind Assassin it really works and this is the case with Meggie s story, mostly because of Meggie s voice, which is so gutsy and singular.Meggie is a woman ahead of her time, even as a child, chafing against the reduced place of women in her community, vowing never to marry, and certainly never to endure the indignity of wading through the freezing ocean, carrying a man on her shoulders so that he might stay warm and dry for a night s fishing.I particularly loved the section in which Meggie, aged fifteen, left her village for the first time to be a gutting girl Despite the privations of the job, Meggie revels in her newfound freedom and the joys and dangers of exploring the wide world The phenomenal detail about a now lost way of live make this section absolutely riveting to read, and there is a gorgeous love story to boot.There is a great deal of tragedy in this novel, and a sense of lessons learned the hard way, but these are always balanced by the joy of community, and hope, and also by Amanda s beautiful prose When things change, something new enters the space you live in, something you must move with, turn to, chafe against, until you ease a new shape for yourself But something is lost, too, in the changing, some small piece if your world gone for good I know Amanda as a friend and writing colleague so I am not rating this book


  7. Robyn Mundy Robyn Mundy says:

    The story of Meggie Tulloch will become a classic Amanda Curtin shares Fish Meggie s extraordinary life from the north of Scotland, to the Shetland Islands, to Fremantle in Western Australia And within Meggie s story Amanda expresses, through a subtlety and beauty of language that is the hallmark of her prose, a deep felt humanness that connects us all I recommend Elemental to everyone See my review essay, The Year s Work in Fiction, in the Australian journal Westerly 59.1


  8. Kristen Levitzke Kristen Levitzke says:

    I loved this novel.I ll never forget little Fish Meggie, the Gutting Girl from the Top of the World I ll never forget the woman she became the woman who speaks to her Lambsie in an endearing Scottish brogue She shares her agonies, of which there are many her delights, of which there are few The delights are dotted neatly throughout, so, whilst this is a sad novel, poignant and painful, it is not entirely grim rather, the small joys shine, diamond clear, aching in their beauty.The women o I loved this novel.I ll never forget little Fish Meggie, the Gutting Girl from the Top of the World I ll never forget the woman she became the woman who speaks to her Lambsie in an endearing Scottish brogue She shares her agonies, of which there are many her delights, of which there are few The delights are dotted neatly throughout, so, whilst this is a sad novel, poignant and painful, it is not entirely grim rather, the small joys shine, diamond clear, aching in their beauty.The women of Roanhaven carry their men on their backs through icy water to the Lily Maud and it s a long time yet before any of the women will wrestle free But wrestle free they do, some shackle free and in love, others on the wings of death, destined for tragedy I want to be careful not give too much away the pacing of the storytelling is superb Curtin is an expert of the slow reveal But I have to say this I just about punched the air at a certain utterance from Meggie Tulloch on page 137 I say lassies can make up their own minds about where they go Unlike poor Kitta and Unty Jinna, Meggie finds a good man a fellow who bids her to make up her own mind Ahhhhh see, there s one of those aching, diamond clear joys.We re interested in similar themes, Curtin and I the female experience, the intense nature of relationships between women There s a beautiful sense of female camaraderie expressed in Elemental it s the female version of mateship that we forget to mention in the Aussie mythology We see it amongst the Gremista girls and later, the women of Mills Ware we see it in Meggie s bond with her sister Kitta, and later Clementina So often, women, grandmothers, mothers and girlfriends, provide the emotional support that the men in their lives cannot The sisterhood of Gremista provide Meggie with a romantic interlude in the way of an upturned box and a jug of ale on her wedding night Similarly, the women of Mills Ware inject joy in the war time nuptials of Enzia and Enzia s Joe a neat reversal of the earlier patriarchal possessive namesakes with a wedding cake that melts in the hot South Beach sun More joy.Curtin s prose just about had me buckled over with a whole body, physiological exclamation every pore sang, Oh, to write like that I know I gush But to assume a voice such as Meggie s is no small feat I m inspired I m hoping to play around with a radically different voice in my next short story But I can t deny that I had to read and reread the earliest chapters it was the dialect that got me it s hard to make meaning when your semantic understandings don t marry, when you re constantly monitoring your own comprehension and flicking back to the glossary It was an interesting exercise for me I thought of my little students who suffer from Specific Language Impairment, who are constantly faced with these semantic difficulties I was reminded of the deep value in reading good literature in the acquisition of new world knowledge and vocabulary the way we are enriched as we participate, we conjure, we magick from the air new meaning Of course, it isn t long before you re swept out on the Roanhaven tide, til you know your quinies from your limmers I m not sure if I just grew accustomed to the vernacular, or if Curtin eased off on it as we edged deeper into the story, but how I grew to love the distinctive cadence and rhythm of Meggie s Scottish tongue.There s heady relief in the latter part of the book when we travel from ice to sun, from fish stench to the sugary waft of Mills Ware butter biscuits There s a real affection for this place, this wide skyed place Fremantle I d hazard a guess that some of the descriptions will leave West Australian language lovers weak at the knees.There s so much I could say about this book, but it s time to close now There s the wonderful description of the puffin that made my son ask me why I was smiling, eyes closed there s the central mystery revolving around Brukie s Sandy there s Granda Jeemsie, and the coda at the end Read it.Ooh one last thing that I must not fail to mention Oh, to write a sex scene like the one on page 195 It s very, very good


  9. Janet Overington Janet Overington says:

    A very enjoyable read Written in quite a different format I quite liked the characters way of speaking differently and found it easy to follow what they meant I can t believe how many sad mishaps happened to Meggie throughout her life with the people she lost Very sad.


  10. Anne Forrest Anne Forrest says:

    The best read I ve had in a while Evocative I felt the cold ,I smelt the sea experienced the lives of characters.I tagged pages of my book read passages again again.My favourite when things change, something new enters the space you live in,something you must move with,turn to, chafe against,until you ease a new shape for yourself.But something is lost,too, in the changing, some small piece of your world gone for good.Her description of the preposterous puffin on page 143 is unforget The best read I ve had in a while Evocative I felt the cold ,I smelt the sea experienced the lives of characters.I tagged pages of my book read passages again again.My favourite when things change, something new enters the space you live in,something you must move with,turn to, chafe against,until you ease a new shape for yourself.But something is lost,too, in the changing, some small piece of your world gone for good.Her description of the preposterous puffin on page 143 is unforgettable.I thought a book that started with If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies would be good it was a 5 star read for me till the ending, I thought it melodramatic


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