In Another Light

Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson on 3rd May 2004

Andrew Greig is a storyteller and poet, and in this new novel both strands of his talent combine to create a story set on two very different islands, lit by very different suns.

In the early nineteen thirties, an ambitious young Scotsman sets out on the long sea voyage to Penang, eager to take up his post running a maternity hospital in the colony. On the journey out, he quickly makes the acquaintance of two beautiful sisters – one single, the other married – also making their way out to the Far East. In the confines of the ship, when conventional morality is shelved for the duration, the seeds of a scandal are sown.

Seventy years later, Edward Mackay almost dies of a sudden and devastating illness. While he is recuperating in the family home, and trying to come to terms with his own mortality, he stumbles upon a box labelled in his father’s writing with the word Penang. The box’s contents, together with a casual remark of his mother’s, sets Edward off on a quest. From his new home on the wild and beautiful island of Orkney, Edward begins to unravel the story of a man he loved but didn’t know: his father, Dr Alexander Mackay, now years dead after a long and blameless career. What he discovers, and the help he receives along the way, astonishes him and begins to shed light on his own existence.