A real classic among Highland books, "A Croft in the Hills" captures, in simple, moving descriptions, what it was really like trying to make a living out of a hill croft fifty years ago. A couple and their young daughter, fresh from city life, immerse themselves in the practicalities of looking after sheep, cattle and hens, mending fences, baking bread and surviving the worst that Scottish winters can throw at them.
Eric Macleod looks across the loch at the forlorn wreck of his family's croft. 'How would you like to live there?' he asks his wife Ruth, half joking. After all, they have to think of something to do with the place. But he doesn't expect her instant reply - 'I would love to.' A few short months later, fired by the challenge of an adventure like no other they've known.
Eric has given up his promising career in London as an accountant with an international company, and moved to the remote shores of Loch Cairnbawn in the West Highlands. With Ruth and their two little girls, he plans to renovate the croft and make a living from the land. But it's a long leap from management accountant to house builder and crofter - as they soon find out.
The MacLeod family's life at Kerracher will fascinate the many people who would love to live such a dream. An accountant by profession, Eric MacLeod, his wife and their two little girls, learn to mix concrete and to build, shear sheep and fish, live with otters and seals.
The Making of the Crofting Community has been seminal in bringing to the fore the injustices that have been inflicted on the Highlands in the name of government and landlord - injustices often lost in the name of dry statistics and academic balance.
Written by a man who has gone on to become both an award-winning historian of the Highlands and a leading figure in the public life of the region, The Making of the Crofting Community has attracted praise, inspired debate, and provoked outrage and controversy over the years.
Since its first publication in 1984, Night Falls in Ardnamurchan has become a classic account of the life and death of a Highland community. The author weaves his own humorous and perceptive account of crofting with extracts from his father's journal - a terse, factual and down to earth vision of the day-to-day tasks of crofting life. It is an unusual and memorable story that also illuminates the shifting, often tortuous relationships between children and their parents. Alasdair Maclean reveals his own struggle to come to terms with his background and the isolated community he left so often and to which he returned again and again. In this isolated community is seen a microcosm of something central to Scottish identity - the need to escape against the tug of home.