Tannadee is a whimsical look at what can happen when people with money focus their sights on a small village in rural of Scotland. Gordon Weever is a narcistic American billionaire who wants to build a golf course in the Scottish Highlands, the land of his ancestors. Tannadee is the debut novel for retired professional agronomist and teacher Maurice Gray.
Tannadee, is a beautiful pastoral village in the Scottish Highlands. Gordon Weever, a billionaire from the USA, decides Tannadee is an ideal place for his latest golf course project. Most of the village disagrees, but Weever doesn’t care. He is used to buying and getting what he wants. Chizzie Bryson, a local teacher, allies himself with Weever’s daughter and a number of unconventional villagers to block the sale of a critical piece of land. They decide to raise funds in a Highland Games competition. An odd collection of characters represents Tannadee and Weever tries every trick in the book to make sure they fail. Financially, it’s a David and Goliath story. Can David do it again?
The humour in this story is fantastic and all the villagers are odd but endearing. Gray has a way of describing each character’s eccentricities that is both hilarious and respectful. The local chippy owner’s greatest talent is that he is so slippery that he is a master wrestler. The town drunk hates the fact he drinks, but falls off the wagon regularly with Weever’s help. And the list goes on.
The story also has a desperate tone, which is why the book is worth reading. The fact that money can threaten a serene way of life and there is very little those affected can do about it is very real problem. Weever is a character that is hard to believe can exist, but we all know that we have an international figure today who is just like him. The humour allows one to read about this threat of “progress”, but Gray also keeps the tension up throughout the story.
I am disappointed that the story has a rather blunt end. What happens to everyone? Does the village prosper in spite of its financial difficulties? There are many questions that I would have liked to see wrapped up.
I recommend this book to people who are concerned about preserving a collective social conscience but need to hear it expressed in a light manner.
by NetGalley review