After the death of his father, Beagan Gillean finds himself stranded on a wild Scottish island, alone except for a trunk full of three generations of family history. Immersing himself in the lives and dreams of his forefathers, Gillean decides to retrace the journey his great-grandfather made two-hundred years before to the promised land of Canada. A wave-rocked, wind-tossed travel adventure unfolds, carrying him into his family's past and across the world's second-largest country. In his wake trail three ghosts: his great-grandfather, his grandfather and his father. Together they navigate the rivers, lakes and waterways that ribbon through Canada and as they travel Gillean discovers that his ancestors' struggles, achievements and failings mirror Canada's own. A haunting tale of loss and discovery, "The Oatmeal Ark" is the story of one remarkable family and a candid, beautifully rendered portrait of the country that defined it.
Rory MacLean's books, including best-sellers Stalin's Nose and Under the Dragon, have challenged and invigorated travel writing, and -- according to the late John Fowles -- are among works that 'marvellously explain why literature still lives'. He has won the Yorkshire Post Best First Work prize and an Arts Council Writers' Award, was twice shortlisted for the Thomas Cook/Daily Telegraph Travel Book Prize and was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary award. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 3 and 4. Born and educated in Canada, he lives with his family in Dorset. 'Rory MacLean is one of the most strikingly original and talented travel writers of our generation.' author Katie Hickman.