The English American. A novel by Alison Larkin.
Posted by berkeleyscot on April 6, 2008
‘The English American’ comes from Alison’s own experience of being born in USA, and adopted by British parents (English mother, Scottish father.)
As a Scot and an adoptee, I related to so many of the witty observations Alison made in the novel. I want everyone to buy this book, so I won’t give away the plot, but I have a few teasing comments to tempt you.
Pippa (the heroine) grew up with a father who enjoyed Scottish country dancing.
I loved the description of an evening of dancing in the local village hall. One character says, “I’ll tell you the secret to Scottish dancing.”—“You need to count, you see. I still count, even though I’m an expert.”
Yes! We Scots count the steps at the dancing. “ROUND for eight, BACK for eight! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-TURN!”
But the book’s main purpose is to talk about the adoption experience, for all concerned. I need to talk about my feelings about this in another blog.
But, in the meantime, we’ll dance. Set to your partner, pas de basque and turn!
Alison uses ‘pas de basque,’ but I grew up with the spelling of the step ‘pas de bas.’ We pronounce it ‘paddyba!’ This is just more to talk about!