(Maureen) Mollie Hunter (McIlwraith) Margery Fisher - Essay

Margery Fisher

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The Third Eye [is] an extraordinarily vivid and impressive study of a family and a community in a Scottish town in the 1930's. Attention is held from that first sentence right up to the end of the book, by which time we have learned why Jinty had to be questioned and how her answers contributed to the explanation of a tragedy which affected the whole of Ballinford, the presumed suicide of the Earl. I said 'we have learned' but I think 'discovered' would be a truer word, for Mollie Hunter works out her plot so expertly and directs her narrative so firmly that we are drawn completely into the book, getting to know the characters in the slow, partial manner of real life. This is a book for an active and experienced reader…. Though this is not a first-person story, the revelations of a family secret and of the secret motives for the Earl's death are described as they might naturally have been received by a girl of fourteen for whom they bring a heavy responsibility. Unerring in its documentation, lucid and rhythmical in style, this is one of those rare novels which seems to have grown rather than to have been constructed, so that it satisfies as a unique piece of writing. (p. 3595)

Margery Fisher, "Generations," in her Growing Point, Vol. 18, No. 4, November, 1979, pp. 3591-95.∗