rymour books independent scottish publisher Foot of the Walk










It’s 1938 and the shadow of war hangs over the country. The Marlowe family gather in the peace and tranquillity of Glen Brittle below the Cuillin mountains on the Isle of Skye. They have come to celebrate Marlowe’s Variation, a rock-climb near the famous Cioch, first climbed by family patriarch, Stephen Marlowe, thirty years earlier. However, family tensions and secrets soon start to emerge.

In the evening, they huddle around the wireless at Glenbrittle Lodge to hear the latest news of Hitler and Chamberlain’s negotiations. Stephen’s son Leo, an MP, has to urgently depart for Westminster. The Munich talks trigger other, more personal, issues: Stephen Marlowe quietly relives the horrors of the Great War, while his grandson, Richard, has recently returned from the trauma of the Spanish Civil War.

Through their ruminations we gain an insight into the bigger picture: the political instability and psychological damage incurred from earlier conflicts, accentuated by anxiety and conjecture over the current crisis.

ROGER HUBANK is a novelist and mountaineer and also a winner of the Boardman Tasker Prize for mountain literature.