Victoria Hendry’s A Capital Union takes place in Edinburgh during the Second World War and explores union of both the marital and political kind.
The novel is narrated by a young woman called Agnes. Agnes marries Jeff, a staunch nationalist embroiled in the struggle within the nationalist movement between those who believe Scotland should fight alongside the rest of the UK and those who conscientiously object to the war. Jeff’s alignment with the latter carries the threat of a prison sentence and causes a furore amongst the couples’ Morningside neighbours. Agnes cannot avoid being dragged into the debate and is impressed by a meeting with the movement’s charismatic chairman Douglas Grant. Her attempts to better understand what independence would mean for Scotland lead Agnes to make a decision that will affect her relationship with her homeland forever.
Although set in the past, A Capital Union explores questions of national identity and independence that remain hotly debated in Scotland and the UK today. Victoria's prose are poetic in style and beautifully incorporate Scots words like dreich and fankle, vividly evoking the people and places she writes about. Before publishing her debut, Victoria worked at the London Museum of Jewish Life and the Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery and was inspired to take up writing by the stories behind the collections she cared for.