Pine Trees and the Sky
Pine Trees and the Sky paints a picture with words of Scottish rural life that takes the reader inside a close-knit community in an isolated glen. It is based on Jean’s personal recollections of life in Corgarff, in the north-east of Scotland. The press dubbed Corgarff as the ‘village in the sky’. Surrounded by the finest mountain scenery in Britain, its roots go back to antiquity. The rugged peaceful scenery of the surrounding land is captured and the wildlife, birds, flowers, insects and animal life found there are described by Jean in beautiful detail.
Jean moves there with her young son in 1954 after her divorce the previous year. She lives in a cottage on the Allargue Estate and several of the chapters deal with the problems and privations of rural living. Jean’s new cottage was in a rather dilapidated state and she experiences particular hardship in her early attempts at renovation. The story describes Jean’s efforts to turn it into a home for herself and her son and their day-to-day life of a small village. It is a charming and very human story.
“O Scotia! my dear, my native soil!
For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent,
Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil,
Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet content!”
Jean’s book does not so much tell a story as paint a picture with words of Scottish rural life. The Donside Piper and Herald.
If there was a perfect time to read this charming little book, may I suggest outdoors on a lazy, balmy summer afternoon in relaxed half-hour snatches. Keith Lobban, Leopard Magazine.