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Scotland Zen and the Art of Social Work by J.A.Skinner
Follow Published 2011
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Family Saga

Scotland Zen and the Art of Social Work by J.A.Skinner

Site Score
Good: Good descriptive writing
Bad: Ending a bit rushed
User Score
(3 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)

Book Description

This book has everything, a dark family secret, an adoption, a Scottish/Chinese social worker, a gay physiotherapist, romance, an Asian matchmaker, a fatal degenerative disease, a catholic funeral, a talking dog, religious conflict and much more, in a fast paced Scottish family saga set in the village of Carfin in Lanarkshire. Despite the drama, it is a book that will hopefully make you laugh and cry.

Guest Reviewers

Review by Gail Harris Dec 2001

Loved this book, couldn’t put it down. The characters were believable.
Funny, tragic and heartwarming. Just like living in Scotland really.
Well worth a read, can’t wait for more from this author!!!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by Maureen Mulligan 2011

I really enjoyed reading this debut novel, it is funny and the characters are very realistic. The religious issues are handled well and the pace is lively. Although the problems in the family are serious the story is told with real Scottish humour. The positive side of an arranged marriage is highlighted and the social work anecdotes are priceless. This is a family you would like to know more about. Certainly would like to read more of this author.

(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by Rose Smith Feb 12th 2012

This is an unusual debut novel which deals with serious issues concerning one extended diverse family over a short period of time. The writing is very entertaining and the use of language is excellent. It is complex enough to keep your interest and the writing is smooth enough to read in a few sessions. There are gems of Scottish expression and characterisation throughout the book and a very satisfying ending. However, the book leaves you wanting to know more about this diverse family, so hopefully there will be a sequel.

Smash Words

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)
Scotland Zen and the Art of Social Work by J.A.Skinner, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings


  1. Evandrus
    August 25, 2012, 5:52 am

    Everyone in the world should read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.

    • Avatar of J. A Skinner
      J. A Skinner
      August 25, 2012, 10:13 am

      I couldn’t agree more, thank you for the comment.

    • Avatar of J. A Skinner
      J. A Skinner
      September 5, 2012, 9:38 pm

      Thank you for your comment, I couldn’t agree more

  2. Alison
    September 3, 2012, 10:54 am

    best book I have ever read truly incredible.

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