April 21, 1923. The SS Metagama is inching out of Stornoway harbour on the Isle of Lewis, bound for Canada. On board are Finlay and Mairead; they are young and hopeful, leaving behind a community that has been touched by tragedy to change their lives forever?
On the other side of the Atlantic, though, they face the realities of an uncaring industrial society. The effects of the Great Depression are inescapable, prejudice and division are rife, and though they remain bound by a shared past, their own lives soon diverge.
In an adopted country that is tense with both opportunity and loss, social progress and violent backlash, can Mairead and Finlay keep their promises to one another, to look only forward, and resist the constant pull of home?
From the author of the prize-winning As the Women Lay Dreaming comes a poignant and deeply evocative novel of the 20th-century emigrant experience in the New World. With lyrical prose and masterful storytelling, Murray paints a vivid portrait of the resilient Hebrideans-in-exile who struggled between holding on and letting go.