Editor’s Diary: Inspiring Stories

Editors Diary

In this week’s Editor’s Diary, my resolve to do more walking took me to the wonderful RSPB Vane Farm nature reserve in Kinross-shire.

It was such a glorious day. So I decided to head for the top!

The climb up the hill behind the visitor centre is steep, and there are lots of steps. But look at the reward! On a clear day you can see for miles.

My picture shows the view over Loch Leven, famous, of course, for its Mary, Queen of Scots connections.

Back in the 16th century, her rivals imprisoned poor Mary in Loch Leven Castle.

Trapped on the island in the middle of the loch, she eventually she escaped in a rowing boat.

But she wasn’t free for long.

I grew up in Kinross-shire, and Mary’s tragic story captivated me.

To think a pivotal part of it had happened practically on my doorstep was thrilling.

It was equally thrilling to find that the tale from Scotland’s history had inspired others.

One of my favourite ever novels, “The Game Of Kings” by Dorothy Dunnett, is set in the turbulent years of Mary’s reign.

It has also just been voted the nation’s third favourite historical novel of all time!

Recommended Reads

On the subject of books, I have read two great novels recently.

editors diary

Photograph by Angela Gilchrist.

The first, “Unsheltered” by Barbara Kingsolver, is a dual-period story about two people who have lived in the same American house — one in the present day, and one in the Victorian era.

The writer is not afraid to tackle topical and controversial themes, and draws clever parallels between today’s climate-change deniers and the Darwin sceptics of the past.

The second, “Tangerine” by Christine Mangan, is a tense thriller set in 1950s Tangier.

It alternates between two female viewpoints, and the reader is never quite sure who is telling the truth.

Tragedy stalks quiet, privileged Alice. Can we trust her? Or should we believe her enigmatic friend Lucy, whose background is a far cry from Alice’s?

I can heartily recommend them both!

To read more from Angela’s Editor’s Diary, click the tag below.

To read some of the “Friend” team’s book reviews, click here.

Angela Gilchrist

Angela is Former Editor-in-Chief of “The People’s Friend” magazine. Her passions include cats, Highland ponies, good books, vegetarian food and long walks in the Scottish countryside. Her favourite place to get away from it all is the magical Isle of Skye.