Linda Gillard

Emotional Geology Reviews

Emotional Geology Reviews

Emotional Geology reviews

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"One of the most outstanding first novels I believe I've ever read."
The Bluestalking Reader, a US book blog

"Complex and important issues are played out in the windswept beauty of a Hebridean island setting, with a hero who is definitely in the Mr Darcy league!"

"... I dropped everything to read it. Read it that very night, in fact. In one solid chunk. I had things to do, sleep to get, work to wake up for, and yet none of it mattered and nothing could tear me away from this breath-taking story... From the opening lines, I knew this book would call my name... I've been dreaming of Scotland for the past several nights and I have this book to thank for it. The wind and the rain, the gales and the beautiful, beautiful names: Uist, Cuillin, Benbecula, Skye... This is a story about dealing with grief and betrayal, about the constant battle against despair and the brutalities of the mind, about finding love and deciding to believe in your ability to keep it. I was completely won over by EMOTIONAL GEOLOGY and cannot recommend it highly enough."
Angieville, a US book blog

"I thought your talk about mental illness was wonderful and you delivered it with wit and authority. I was so impressed, I bought your book, EMOTIONAL GEOLOGY, which I have read and loved to bits."
Sheila Riley, author member of The Romantic Novelists Association

Sari 'frankie' Karjalainen, Book Club Forum reviewer:
"I'm not a very visual person and it's usually hard for me to try and visualise certain things in novels, and one of them is art in particular. However, when I was reading EMOTIONAL GEOLOGY I had no such problems. Rose's textile artwork came to life for me, I could picture it very vividly, the colours, the look of it, and even the feel of the fabrics. All the stones, all the textiles, the colours... I could picture Rose's house very well, the austere and serene look of it, and even the atmosphere seemed to come in colours while reading this book. When Rose was at her neighbour's, I could feel the warmth of the fireplace and hear the wood crackling."

Isle of Skye viewed from the sea (Photo: Bill Marshall)

A review by Tahlia Newland on the Awesome Indies website:

"My first thought when I finished reading EMOTIONAL GEOLOGY was 'masterpiece'. Beautifully written and deeply moving, it's the story of a woman with bipolar disorder who is trying to start afresh after a traumatic relationship break-up and the resultant mental breakdown.

Rose, a textile artist buys a cottage on Uist, a remote Scottish island, and meets Calum, a poet, teacher and the younger brother of her neighbour Shona. Rose wonders why this handsome, charming forty-year-old is alone...

This is a multi-layered work with a brilliant use of poetry and descriptive imagery using the language of textiles eg colour, texture, weight and movement qualities, as described through the eyes of a textile artist. The descriptions of Rose's all black textile response to Calum's poem, 'Basalt', is exceptional. I saw the piece as if it hung on the wall before me. The description of the gold and white piece was similarly evocative and it's brightness a fitting and highly symbolic balance to the black hanging on the opposite wall.

As with all of Gillard's work, the characterisation was exemplary, especially the sensitive and realistic description of Rose in a manic phase. I loved the parallel drawn between the manic and creative state, something reinforced by Rose's creation of a work of art as a way of coping with a major trauma...

This is, without a doubt, a 5-star work and one that all lovers of contemporary fiction and romance should read. Also if you like symbolism in stories and lots of layers of meaning to unravel, then you'll love this."

Linda pictured at Felixstowe Book Festival with book bloggers Elaine Simpson-Long (Random Jottings) & Simon Thomas (Stuck in a Book).

Review from

"Wow. It blew my socks off. I literally could not put it down. I read it in bed. I read it while I was cooking lunch. I read it while I was eating lunch. I walked to the sofa, book in hand, and read it till it was finished. This book is many things - a love song to North Uist, an enquiry into exactly how art is made (without destroying the art with the enquiry), a thing of beauty, a tug on the heart-strings (I was terrified that something was going to happen to one of these characters that I grew to love), a hymn of praise to the damaged, to the incomplete, a wonderful thing of hope. And it made me want to take up my sewing again."

Liz Dexter, Birmingham UK

Linda pictured with a quilt she made for her daughter. On the wall, another of Linda's quilts.

Review by novelist Adele Geras
"Linda Gillard's EMOTIONAL GEOLOGY was very readable and moving. It has a beautiful cover and is well-written and unusual. It's about a bi-polar woman, recovering from terrible trauma and it's not nearly as grim as that sounds. What I most liked about it was the writer's evident love for fabric, handiwork of various kinds and the way she brings a whole landscape to life. I'm looking forward to her next."


Ex Libris, a US book blog: "What impressed me the most, though, were the characters. Ms. Gillard allows them to be believable. In Rose we see an insecure, almost middle-aged woman struggle for her emotional and physical survival. She has difficulty with relationships, even with that of her adult daughter. Not all mother/daughter relationships in real life are those of best friends, and it is refreshing to see this portrayed in fiction. In Calum we see a man who has plenty of emotional struggles of his own, which he tends to drown quietly in alcohol. Rose and Calum are like real people - neither is perfect. Yet their strengths and weaknesses play well off each other. EMOTIONAL GEOLOGY is good fiction. It is creative, insightful, and most importantly, believable."

"A compelling, touching, tender book." James Dedman, Depression Alliance newsletter

"A truly gripping story, cleverly written." Depression Alliance Scotland newsletter