Sundarrajk's Weblog

The Flood by Ian Rankin

Posted on: June 12, 2014

The FloodThe Flood by Ian Rankin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Probably the first book of Ian Rankin that gets such a low rating from me. This was the first book of Ian Rankin. This time there is no Rebus (probably the reason why it got such a low ranking). The story still revolves around the outskirts of Edinburgh. The location is Carsden. The book traces the life of a girl, Mary, who gets pushed into a polluted river. Her hair turns fully white, overnight, either due to the shock or due to the chemicals in the river. She gets branded as a witch. Mary’s father thrashes the boy who pushed Mary into the river the first day he joins the coal mines. The next day the boy dies due to a fire in the coal mines. Mary’s father is saved because of the boy who takes full brunt of the fire due to his inexperience. The boy’s father nurses a grudge against Mary’s family.

The coal mining industry is coming to a standstill in the thus far thriving town and her father loses his job and becomes a drunkard. She becomes pregnant before she is married and her brother leaves for Canada looking for better opportunities. The town suspects that the brother has impregnated her and has hence runaway or has been sent away. Soon her father dies in an accident as he is walking back home with one of his friends.

A son is born to her and he is branded a witch’s son and has to withstand the taunts of the townsfolk. He still manages to build his set of friends and tries to lead a normal life. His mother starts seeing a school teacher who also teaches him. He falls in love with a gypsy girl of ill reputation. This disrupts the peace between his mother and him. His grandfather’s friend who was with him when he met with the accident also commits suicide. Towards the end of the book his mother confesses who could be the real father of the child.

The book ends with the boy saving his mother as the disgruntled father of the boy who pushed Mary into the river tries to kill her.

All in all an OK book to read.

View all my reviews


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