Wednesday, 29 August 2007
A Fife Childhood
Hellfire and Herring, A Fife, Scotland, Childhood. The scent of God, the air was impregnated with him and his mint-sweet and moth-ball evangelists. Just as it was with herring, as you might expect in a fossilised fishing-village on Scotland’s repressed east coast where fishing was an act of faith and not yet a computer-science industry designed to suck the last drops of life out of the sea.
A vivid and moving account of the author’s upbringing in the 1940s and 1950s in the little fishing village of St Monans. Rush returns decades later to rediscover his childhood, and offers a frank account of how it was for him.
This evocation of a way of life now vanished demonstrates the power of the word to bring the past timelessly to life. Rush writes of family, village characters, church and school; of folklore and fishing, the eternal power of the sea and the cycles of the seasons. With a poet’s eye he navigates the worlds of the imagination and the unknown, the archetypal problems of fathers and sons and mother love, and the inescapability of childhood influences far on into adult life. Hellfire and Herring.