Book Review| Mary’s the Name by Ross Sayers

Orphaned Mary lives with her granpa, but after he is mixed up in a robbery at the bookies where he works, they flee to the Isle of Skye. Gradually, Mary realises that her granpa is involved. And the robbers are coming after him–and their money.


You might have heard of Ross Sayers, particularly if you follow any Scottish Tweets social media. He’s pretty funny and can always provide a scathing yet relatable tweet about Scotrail. Which at this stage is rather like shooting fish in a barrel. But I digress. He also writes books.

My hopes for Mary’s the Name were high, especially after seeing many people saying they physically wept. “We’ll see about that,” I said. “I am a robot, immune to being moved by literature. I can appreciate it yes, but emotions? Unlikely.”

Well played Mr. Sayers, you got me.

The narrative is simultaneously innocent, because Mary’s only eight, and filled with a lingering sense of unease. The dramatic irony is delicious. The narrative voice is spot on – no easy task when you’re an adult writing from the perspective of an eight year old. It’s funny and poignant and touching and honest and unflinching.

If you want another cracking example of the Scottish literary scene, pick up Mary’s the Name. If you want a genuinely good read, pick up Mary’s the Name. If you want to cry on a rail journey for a reason other than your train has been cancelled due to lack of staff, read Mary’s the Name.

Just read Mary’s the Name.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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