Cover image for The lantern bearers : a novel
The lantern bearers : a novel
Frame, Ronald.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Counterpoint, 2001.

Physical Description:
224 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
"A Cornelia and Michael Bessie book."

Originally published: [London] : G. Duckworth, 1999.
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Sent away from home for the first time, Neil Pritchard spends the summer of 1962 with his Aunt Nessie on the Solway Firth. Neil soon becomes involved with Euan Bone, a young Scottish composer. Suddenly, however, Neil is expelled from his Eden - with devastating consequences for all.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Neil Pritchard, told that he will die of cancer within two years, presses forward with his book on the Scottish composer Euan Bone. He also tells in this book the story of his encounter with Bone shortly before the composer's death. Neil, 14 then and a superb boy soprano, was summering with his aunt in a southern Scottish coastal town when Bone enlisted him to help prepare a vocal score based on a Robert Louis Stevenson essay. All went beautifully, and Neil was falling in love with Bone; then his voice changed, ending the collaboration. Neil felt exiled from paradise, and when he returned to Glasgow for school, his parents' separation exacerbated his misery. In a resentful funk, he told the lie that Bone had molested him, which led, Neil came to think, to Bone's demise. Decades later, Neil learned that his deception may have precipitated the tragedy but wasn't why it happened. Frame's richly atmospheric gay coming-of-age novel, a prizewinner in Scotland, is reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier's most intriguing work. --Ray Olson

Library Journal Review

The winner of the 2000 Saltire Award for the Scottish book of the year represents storytelling at its finest. Fourteen-year-old Neal Pritchard is sent to spend the summer with his aunt in the Scottish seaside town of Auchendrennan. While there, Neal is asked to be a singer for Euan Bone, a highly regarded composer, as Bone creates a musical work based on Robert Louis Stevenson's short story "The Lantern Bearers." Young Neal becomes infatuated with Bone, experiences his first feelings of sexual awakening, and is increasingly enthralled with the composer and his fascinating household. However, when Neal's voice begins to change, he is no longer useful as a singer and is abruptly discharged from his position. Neal's resentment at this rejection moves him toward an act of treachery whose horrifying consequences haunt him into adulthood. Subtly developed characters, a unique and enchanting setting, suspense, and lovely writing make this an exceptional work that should not be missed. Cathleen A. Towey, Westbury Memorial P.L., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.