The Taste Of Dust by Murdo Morrison is the story of Andrew McIntyre. He was born into the working class tenements of Glasgow Scotland and this book covers six decades of his life along with the rest of his family. This is a story of love, loss, troubled families, finding yourself and learning to start a new life. In short it’s about life itself.
While The Taste Of Dust is a stand alone novel it continues the story of The McIntyre family who we first met in Roses Of Winter. While that story covered the World War 2 era, this book covers the next generation of the family and what happened after the war. You could say that this is a coming of age novel but it goes farther than that as we follow Andrew from birth to old age.
Murdo Morrison has written a great book about life. Where The Roses Of Winter was about a family’s struggle during the war and was more of a historical fiction book, this one is just simply about a working class family and there experiences and the setting wasn’t as important. I come from a working class background myself and found it easy to relate to all the characters in this book.
We get to see how Andrew feels about his family with his mother Ellen being always emotional and his father Donald being quiet all the time. Andrew doesn’t think highly of his mother and feels his dad isn’t a good person to talk to about emotional problems such as his feelings towards the opposite sex. This effects Andrew and he leaves his family in Scotland and heads to London and eventually America.
I loved seeing Andrew deal with his emotions and learning how to deal with his feelings about women. One part I liked in the story was how Andrew talks about his family, he seems to think his family is horrible but as I read the book I wondered if his family was as bad as he says it was. At one point the woman who would become his wife, Sarah points out that his family isn’t that bad. I loved this scene because that was what I was thinking. With Andrew being so close to them its easy to think of them as bad but an outsider would look at them and say they seem like a normal family. This is how I saw the McIntyers in the book, this is a normal family. Ellen has problems but she has her good points and Donald may have things in his life that he is unhappy about but you see that not everything in his life is bad. His son thinks Donald regrets never moving to America but we see that Donald has always kept a good job and has seen America and a lot of other places as part of that job. Maybe Donald and Ellen had their problems but they show on several occasions that not everything is as bad as Andrew thinks and they impress Sarah when they meet her. You except the good with the bad and that’s part of life.
Whether you like this book or not depends on what you’re looking for. There is no major conflict in this book that a character is trying to resolve. This book is about dealing with the every day struggles that everyone deals with. My only problem with this book is how the author would talk about a period of time in Andrew’s life and then jump ahead several years to a another period. Six decades are a long time to cover in someone’s life and that is the only drawback. The Taste Of Dust is a very personal book that I found hard to put down. There is a lot of sadness in this book but there are happy parts as well. As I said before this book is about life itself.