The Guynd: A Scottish Journal

The Guynd A Scottish Journal Rathbone nails down a little bit of the Scottish soul in all its stark splendor New York Times Book Review This memoir offers an American woman s uniquely privileged view into the pastoral Scotland of

  • Title: The Guynd: A Scottish Journal
  • Author: Belinda Rathbone
  • ISBN: 9781593720254
  • Page: 384
  • Format: Paperback
  • Rathbone nails down a little bit of the Scottish soul in all its stark splendor New York Times Book Review This memoir offers an American woman s uniquely privileged view into the pastoral Scotland of today By turns funny, heartwarming, and occasionally sad, it is the author s account of her marriage to a Scottish landowner and of the years they spent together at T Rathbone nails down a little bit of the Scottish soul in all its stark splendor New York Times Book Review This memoir offers an American woman s uniquely privileged view into the pastoral Scotland of today By turns funny, heartwarming, and occasionally sad, it is the author s account of her marriage to a Scottish landowner and of the years they spent together at The Guynd, his large ancestral estate We follow her steep learning curve in dealing with a grand and crumbling mansion still recovering from the effects of two World Wars, as well as an overgrown landscape, a derelict garden, troublesome tenants, local aristocracy, Scottish rituals, and a husband for whom change is anathema A son and heir draws the author into an intimate relationship with every tier of the local society, while a visiting American friend heightens the strain of the ever present culture gap Alternating between enchantment and despair, Rathbone digs into family and local history in an effort to understand her surroundings and free her husband from the grip of the past Like a letter home from a strange land, this book offers a view of Scotland not found in the guide books The tale of the journey through the wrought iron gates and up the long tree lined drive into the living past is both wry and poignant, both oddball and deeply reflective of the ties that bind us.

    One thought on “The Guynd: A Scottish Journal”

    1. This is the memoir of a northeastern upper middle class American woman who married a distant cousin, 15 years her senior, a Scottish laird. Nearly from start to finish, it defies any expectations you might have if you're used to romantic fiction or equally romantic stories of eager couples fixing up big old houses.In part, it's because it's about the reality of a marriage between two fully formed, strong, and very different adults Which is rarely as easy as rosy fiction would have it be. And in [...]

    2. This is a surprisingly unemotional account of a self-confidant American woman taking on the challenge of a husband 15 or so years her senior along with his "crumbling" ancestral home in rural Scotland. It proved to be a comfortable read, rather like visiting a friend. Not much action, but that's okay given the setting.Her husband has an emotional connection to his home that he probably couldn't completely explain. There is no distinct line between man and mansion. I can understand that. Some peo [...]

    3. This is a really enjoyable account of the realities of trying to renovate and rehabilitate a rundown stately manor in chilly old Scotland.Belinda Rathbone is an American who married a reluctant and eccentric Scottish laird who was heir to a 400 acre ancestral home in Scotland called 'The Guynd.' Before their marriage, the laird, John Ouchterlony, had avoided the onerous responsibilities of the estate by living and working in London, but duty could not be denied and together they moved into The G [...]

    4. The Guynd (rhymes with "wind") is the name of the home that's been in Belinda Rathbone's husband's family for hundreds of years in Scotland. This book is actually more of a memoir of the Guynd, the surrounding structures, and the land. The author and her husband marry later in life, he in his mid-50s, she in her late 30s. I would have liked to have known more about the author's feelings rather than an unemotional accounting of her experiences. She does touch on the reasons behind the dissolution [...]

    5. Very disappointing. It was very much an American view of the aristocracy of Scotland. Not being a part of that I can't verify if accurate, but it was patronising it bits (having son attend local school just to learn how to speak to locals when he grows up to be the laird). One for the American market not the Scottish!!

    6. I was a fan of the Scottish series "Monarch of the Glen" about a young laird who has inherited a big country house and debt to go with it. The Guynd (which is non-fiction) brings us to similar territory, but with the addition of an American wife. Nicely written and plotted, the story is a fun read. Cozy up with a cup of tea and be grateful for your central heating

    7. Fascinating story -- American woman marries Scottish owner of estate late in life. The moral: you can change the estate perhaps more than you can change the man. Interesting peek into the world of old family estates and the baggage that comes with them.

    8. I was thoroughly engrossed by Rathbone's account of her marriage to a Scottish laird (estate owner). Her husband's large estate has been in his family for over 400 years and at this point, the land can no longer support the mansion home, gardens and other homes that dot the property (think Pemberly gone ghetto). Her attempts to renovate, redecorate and modernize were quite humorous, especially given her husband's frugality.The most fascinating aspect of this account is Rathbone's discussion of i [...]

    9. Good read. Loved Downton Abbey so interesting to read what goes into keeping the old homes liveable. The war years took their toll on the families and the houses.The Scots are frugal to the point of being amusing.

    10. Really enjoyed this memoir. Belinda Rathbone has a talent for storytelling and a great sense of humour that she surely needed in this marriage while living in Scotland. A satisfying read!

    11. A humorous and clever book about an American woman who marries a Scottish man with a 200 year old manor house, and the years she spends struggling to repair and renovate it. The author is witty and insightful, connecting the history of the house and its former inhabitants, the neighbors, and the grounds into a strangely compelling tale of a mansion that seems to have a life of its own. For a special treat, google "the Guynd" and click on the images - this woman was a fantastic decorator and the [...]

    12. I was hesitant in picking up "The Guynd A Scottish Journal" despite a recent infatuation with Scottish history it was not my ideal read by all accounts of what was presented to me. Why would I wish to read an American's perspective? Let alone an American's "Journal". Not to mention it takes place in the 90's and I'd rather read about when the Georgian house, of which the novel gets its name, was originally built. Fortunately, the extent of my library's Scottish section is half a column of shelf [...]

    13. Small World book story: This was another title plucked off the freebie shelves at the Y, books donated by members. I started to read it because the world it describes is or was familiar and who can resist the REBECCA-like echoes of the new wife facing a big old British -- Scottish, in this case -- house? When, early in the book, the American author, Belinda Rathbone, mentions driving by Fife in Scotland I thought, "I bet she knows Keith Adam," who owns Blair Adam near Fife. (That is "Adam," as i [...]

    14. On first read, this is a story of a whirlwind romance and a struggle to preserve hundreds of years of family history -- none of which is the author's -- while at the same time updating, restoring, trying to find a place as an outsider in a culture steeped in tradition.I've read my fair share of 'house' books, in large part because my romantic side finds them irresistible. It's the possibility of it all, I think -- turning a falling-down home (though the Guynd wasn't falling down, mostly just suf [...]

    15. To give this 2 stars probably doesn't represent the true enjoyment I got from reading this book. It was an good way to while away a sunny afternoon, however, a great work of literature it wasn't. It is the true (I imagine with embellishments) story of Belinda Rathbone and her life with Laird husband John on their estate in Perthshire. It felt the whole way through that divorce was immanent but the strife was sprinkled with a good dose of hilarious anecdotes. The book was clearly written for an A [...]

    16. Fascinated as I am by All Things Scottish, this book had obvious appeal for me. The author, an American, falls in love with and marries an honest-to-goodness Scottish laird, who has his own honest-to-goodness manor house, The Guynd (rhymes with "the wind"), near Dundee. Her memoir details their attempts to rehab a 300 year old house suffering from benign neglect and crammed full of 300 years of family stuff.With humor and insight, Rathbone details the character of Scottish frugality, the history [...]

    17. If you've ever had fantasies of owning a historic home in Scotland in dire need of repair and major de-cluttering (and who hasn't?), you'll love this. There's a bizarre sense of thrill in reading about the centuries' worth of objects relegated to the cellar, the shabby layers of wallpaper to be stripped, the chaos of the overgrown/nearly lost garden So much fun. Definitely appeals to the HGTV set, who like to see before & after (as well as that show about people who need organization and hou [...]

    18. Finally getting around to reading this work by Belinda Rathbone that I requested thru PaperBackSwap. It's a memoir of courtship and marriage to a modern-day Scottish laird -- the Guynd is where they end up living, the property that's been in his family for 400+ years. Finding it pretty interesting as it's part guidebook, part history, and part bio that's presented pretty evenly tho the reader is always aware it's written from Rathbone's sometimes one-sided perspective. The progressive telling of [...]

    19. This is a fascinating book about an American author who falls in love with a Scottish man and moves into his sprawling ancestral home, the Guynd (pronounced gwind). Unfortunately, she has little idea of what she's in for -- dark, dank rooms with no heating; broken furniture that can't be thrown away; appliances that don't work; and a never ending battle of wills with the man of the house on updating even the tiniest of spaces.This is not a cheerful book, and it took me a while to finish it. The [...]

    20. This would be a great book to curl up with in the middle of winter and read it in front of the fireplace drinking a mug of hot chocolate. To sum it up, this book is written by an American woman who married a Scottish laird in the 1990s and moved into his family's home and helped to renovate it. I felt like I learned a lot about Scottish society that I didn't know before. The story reminded me vaguely of Francis Mayes Under the Tuscan Sun but it included a lot of commentary about the struggles in [...]

    21. Belinda is a very lucky woman to have the opportunity to move to a different country, but while she is at it restore a farm estate. Her writing takes you along her path of discoveries, the importance of a farm in Scotland, society, the weather, the holidays. After reading this book you will feel like you were on the farm with her walking along the paths and roads. I too would have been like her, itching to restore the house and buildings.

    22. This is my kind of book: an American woman moves to Scotland, where her husband's ancestral home is in a chronic state of disrepair. She chronicles their relationship through the lens of the house -- her desire to change it; his to keep everything the same. Wonderful observations of the local countryside, its customs, history and people. She never stops feeling a bit like a fish out of water, but is making her best effort to fit in, help out and grow.

    23. I suppose at sometime I will finish this book. It is very much mediocre or it may be that I am growing tired of the same old "I married a man because he had a home in" and then we get to hear all the excitement of moving to a foreign country and making all your friends (& readers) pea-green.I don't even think this woman really enjoyed the experience. But, there is money to be made from writing a book about it.I think I'm done with this book.

    24. This book was one of the hardest books I've ever tried to get through. It's so dry, and not really about anything. Unless you are REALLY into the Scottish history of one this one particular house, then don't read it. It's just a who owned what and who married who of one super boring family. Along with descriptions of remodeling a house that takes 10 years and goes nowhere.

    25. I put this book on my list after coming home from a summer in Scotland. I'm not sure what I expected, but certainly not a book about remodeling a massive country house. It was OK as a memoir of the author's time living in Scotland, but not at all what I expected.

    26. Interesting story the house (well really it was a castle) was a part of as well as a symbol of her relationship with her husband. I felt bad for her towards the end. It made me wonder what I would have done with the place and in that place (Scotland).

    27. Since there are few modern memoirs set in Scotland this is good reading to get perspective on daily life although this is from the perspective of the more well to-do or "land-wealthy". Longer review is posted here: readingscotland/2017/0

    28. I enjoyed being transported to Scotland. I liked her realistic portrayal of the country manor life. It was apparent she was grappling with feelings of questioning her marriage and it shone on the narrative.

    29. Interesting read, that doesn't make living as a member of the nobility sound as glamorous as what you may think it would be.I was saddened by the ending, but to be honest, as the author say, it is easy to see coming when you look back at what happened. I probably would have done the same.

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