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Stella Maris

Edinburgh is a beautiful and ancient city, with a history of culture and civilization going back a long way. It also has a dark side, and what is called the "Old Town", the medieval closely-packed buildings running from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace, were, in my aware adolescent days, full of poor people living in tough and often primitive conditions. This gripping novel tells the tale of a child growing up there. Leith, the port of Edinburgh and proudly independent of it in culture and spirit, if not now in administrative organization, has a different dark side. Sea-ports are gateways to the world, down the motorways of the sea. Their trade thrives with a population of hard-working, and often roughly mannered people. Religion is also a strong theme in the novel, and in Edinburgh, and indeed in Scotland generally. Religion in Edinburgh is mostly refined, liberal and sophisticated, but narrow, harsh and unforgiving varieties also exist. Times have changed. The poor have been shipped out to housing schemes (colourfully described by Irvine Welsh), and the Old Town has been upgraded, gentrified, and exploited as a magnetic tourist attraction. Lives like that of Stella Maris, the star of the sea, are vividly remembered by senior citizens
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Table of Contents

Contents Chapter 1 Edinburgh, 1925 1 Chapter 2 Stella Maris Malcolm 2 Chapter 3 Flittings 5 Chapter 4 Stella at Age Four 10 Chapter 5 Rachel's Story 12 Chapter 6 Trapped in Marriage 20 Chapter 7 Home Alone 28 Chapter 8 Tibby 34 Chapter 9 Tibby Finds a Home 37 Chapter 10 Aunt Mary 40 Chapter 11 Divided Loyalties 48 Chapter 12 A Loving Mother 54 Chapter 13 Stella at Age Eight 59 Chapter 14 The Sixpence 62 Chapter 15 The Best Laid Plans... 66 Chapter 16 Never Talk to Strangers 71 Chapter 17 Judas Iscariot 76 Chapter 18 Suicide 80 Chapter 19 Paradise Lost 86 Chapter 20 Granny Malcolm 88 Chapter 21 Auntie Con Rebels 97 Chapter 22 Who is Joseph Morrison? 102 Chapter 23 Miss Anderson 108 Chapter 24 Betty and Sheila 114 Chapter 25 Little Doris 118 Chapter 26 Norah Kennedy 123 Chapter 27 The Hogmanay Bash 125 Chapter 28 Pearl McKechnie 132 Chapter 29 Depression 140 Chapter 30 Mrs. Bowden 143 Chapter 31 The Willis Family 153 Chapter 32 Letter From America 155 Chapter 34 Granda Morrison 170 Chapter 35 Miss "Walker" 178 Chapter 36 Granda meets Granny 185 Chapter 37 Miss Vincent 193 Chapter 38 Two Sisters 200 Chapter 40 Granda's Death 214 Chapter 41 Granny's Will 217 Chapter 42 Auntie Con 224

About the Author

Nan O'Dell was born in 1925 in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1948 she moved to Chicago, where she met Glenn and married him. In 1979 they moved to Edinburgh, her beloved home. Nan had successful careers as wife, mother, grandmother, Antique dealer, instructor and lecturer, but her first love was writing. She started as a child writing poems & plays. Through the years she wrote many short stories, and finally the novel, Stella Maris. She was teaching creative writing classes in Edinburgh when she became blind in 1995. She died in 1999.

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