SEARCHING FOR SHONA by Margaret J. Anderson


Email this review


Making a fairly graceful leap from time-warp fantasies to wartime fiction, Anderson pulls a Prince and the Pauper-type switch when her rich and lonely orphaned heroine, Marjorie Malcolm-Scott, swaps identities with poor and also orphaned Shona MacInnes at the Edinburgh train station. While the new Marjorie sets off for Canada to wait out World War II with cousins in Toronto, the fake Shona is whisked off to the small village of Canonbie where she and slow-witted fellow evacuee Anna spend the next six years as wards of the spinsterish but kindly Campbell twins. To be sure, this trade-off overstretches credulity, with Marjorie slipping into her new identity as easily as she slips on Shona's worn clothes. Yet Anderson does bring a quirkish twist to the stock theme of finding oneself (a brief post-war reunion proves that each girl got exactly what she bargained for) and she is a relaxed, congenial storyteller whose picture of a world in upheaval nonetheless seems as comfortable and insulating as the Campbells' ritual of tea and hot scones.

Pub Date: April 3rd, 1978
Publisher: Knopf