1884. In a tenement room and kitchen in the town of Rutherglen, near Glasgow, a woman with stark injuries to her face and her mind, and a man who has recently arrived from America, spend the night together.
As the night progresses, the couple discover that their past lives were once entwined in ways they hadn’t realised, and that they are linked by a shared past; the eviction of Greenyards, Strathcarron in 1854. Separately and together the couple reflect on the shocking brutality of the glen’s clearance thirty years earlier, exploring notions of love, commitment, trauma and happiness, and discovering what it means to take care of another person’s soul.
A book suffused with poetry and based on truth, Music in the Dark looks with searing honesty at love in older age – its cost and its beauties – whilst shedding light on female resistance during the Highland Clearances, and depicting, with poignant empathy, the long-term physical and mental effects the past can have on us.