Piobaireachd in a novel

I have just finished reading “A Certain Slant of Light“, a novel by Cynthia A. Thayer.

The novel hits close to home for me for several reasons, not least of which is the central role played by piping. Without giving away too much, the protagonist is a retired piper, living a somewhat hermetic life near the coast of Maine. Circumstances throw him together with a young, pregnant women on the run from her church and husband.

You won’t get any more plot spoilers from me, but an interesting feature of the book is that to each chapter is attached the first line of a pipe tune, many of them piobaireachd. Included are: Too Long in this Condition, The Daughter’s Lament, The Unjust Incarceration, Lament for the Children, The Sound of the Waves Against the Castle at Duntroon, and (I was pleased to see) I Am Proud to Play a Pipe.

Although Ms. Thayer acknowledges Andy Rogers and Bob Worrall (both pipers of note from Eastern Canada), it struck me from reading the novel that she must also be a piper; she writes about piping, and the finer points of piobaireachd, with the air of a performer, and even includes a piobaireachd she has written. Maybe I will try to contact her and get the scoop.

The book was enjoyable, gripping even, and I will be recommending it to my literary piping friends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.