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Seumas Macdonald is an outsider, not only because he lives on
an isolated primitive croft, but also because, being the only child in the
school to speak Gaelic (apart from his disturbed sister), he is the favourite
of MacCallum the headmaster, which leads to the boy being bullied in the
playground. MacCallum comes in his boat for ceilidhs with the Macdonald family,
to preserve the evocative Gaelic names of birds and flowers, and to teach
Seumas to read and write what the headmaster calls ‘the language of Eden’ which,
like the natural world, is under threat. The
Leaper chronicles Seumas’s late and troubled introduction to sex; revealing
how he finds consolation, companionship and hope in the company of a dolphin, in
the face of violence and discrimination from the community. The novel is also about the loss of the old
oral Gaelic tradition and the emergence of a new form of Gaelic culture, literate,
but lacking the continuity of the old spoken tales.
THE LEAPER by Lorn Macintyre is published by Grace Note
Publications, website www.gracenotepublications.co.uk and is also available from