Review by Susannah Radford
Somersaults, by Iain Finlay MacLeod, is a lovely meditation on the power of language, its link to identity and the pain associated with trying to keep a dying language alive. Identity is eroded as one’s mother tongue is forgotten. It’s a cause for concern; in the last census Gaelic speakers made up just under 2% of the Scottish population.
As James’ life collapses he also has to face up to his father’s impending death, his last remaining link to the Gaelic language; his mother tongue.