"Anyone interested in island life and the sea will enjoy this collection. Donald Murray has opted for a unity of subject-matter and also, to some extent, theme, in this volume. The result is a fascinating series of poems, each exploring a different aspect of what lies Between Minch and Muckle Flugga.
"A glance at the titles shows the poet's comprehensiveness and attention to detail: 'Fish Factory Girl', 'Gutting-Knife', 'Lerwick Pier, 1913', 'Harvest of Whales', 'Lewis Seamen, 1963', 'Teenage Harbour', 'Sea Speech', 'Spaces for the Shipwrecked', for example. But this doesn't tell the whole story. There are poems which act as vivid recreations of a certain time or a particular event, but they rarely stick there: most go well beyond the factual-sounding title. In 'Following His Vocation', for example, a Lighthouse keeper's crisis of faith is really an exploration of the psychological consequences of religious extremism. Likewise, in 'The Girl Who Taught the Fisherman to Read', a generally light-hearted poem based on an amusing conceit, there are darker reminders of the dangers of fishing: '...when a dark storm swayed the world/ swirling till a rockpool was disturbed/ by a corpse...' and gentle warnings about what may happen when the 'drag and swell of words' is 'cut loose'.
"The hardships involved in making a living from the sea, both past and present, feature in several poems. Donald Murray writes from genuine understanding and with informed affinity here: there is no easy romanticism, nor any forced bravado in his treatment of the subject... - The New Shetlander