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Mary's the Name

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  103 ratings  ·  33 reviews
An eight-year-old girl and her granpa are on the run…

“When me and Granpa watched James Bond films, he told me not to be scared because people didn’t have guns like that in Scotland. That must’ve been why the robbers used hammers.”

Orphaned Mary lives with her granpa, but after he is mixed up in a robbery at the bookies where he works, they flee to the Isle of Skye. Graduall
Paperback, 314 pages
Published January 30th 2017 by Cranachan Books
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Average rating 4.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  103 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: january-2017
There’s something about Mary…

It is always a thrill to discover a great debut author and I always love the anticipation of starting their book. Ross Sayers is one of those fantastic debut authors who blows you away.

Mary’s The Name is the story of eight-year-old Mary Sutherland and her grandpa who, after a robbery, move from Stirling to Portree on the Isle of Skye. Mary discovers that her Granpa was involved in the robbery and the robbers have followed them. A real coming-of-age story, we follow M
Melanie (Mel's Bookland Adventures)
Utterly smitten with this story and the setting. It made me laugh and it broke my heart. Set in Scotland, mainly on the Isle of Skye where we hear the events that unfold after Mary and her Grandpa leave Stirling to go on holiday to Skye. The story is told from Mary’s point of view. Quite often narratives like that annoy the heck out me but I thought this was incredibly well done.
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 314

Publisher - Cranachan

Blurb from Goodreads

An eight-year-old girl and her granpa are on the run…

“When me and Granpa watched James Bond films, he told me not to be scared because people didn’t have guns like that in Scotland. That must’ve been why the robbers used hammers.”

Orphaned Mary lives with her granpa, but after he is mixed up in a robbery at the bookies where he works, they flee to the Isle of Skye. Gradually, Mary realises that her granpa is involved.
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
there is something completely and utterly captivating about this book that just draws you in and churns you up inside out!

Eight year old Mary and her granpa are caught up in a robbery in the bookies where he works. Not long after Mary's granpa tells her they are going on a summer long holiday to the Isle of Skye. She is excited by the adventure and not that sad to leave her Stirling home for the summer as she feels quite isolated and friendless there. However Mary soon begins to realise that her
Kelly Lacey
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
My Review & Thoughts By Kelly L
I had heard such great things about the book. The buzz on Social Media and all the chit chat at book events. So I was looking forward to it. The whole book is from wee Mary's prospective and as she's only eight it's interesting to see her world through young eyes. As her parents died in a car crash, it's up to Granpa to look after and care for Mary. However this is a huge responsibility and Granpa falls short at times. Making me very cross I have to add. Shouting a
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this. Mary's a fantastic character and I loved seeing the world through her eyes. Mary and her Granpa's relationship is so adorable - reading about him from her perspective means you can't help but like him even though, as a reader, it's obvious that not everything he does is right.
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well what is there to say about wee Mary? I just loved her and I loved this book. The story is told entirely from her eight-year old point of view which gives it a conversational, confiding feel. Mary lives with her beloved Granpa Arthur who works in a betting office. She has lived with him since her parents were killed in a car crash when she was very small and they are everything to each other. There is a robbery at the betting office and shortly afterwards, Mary and her Granpa go to stay in t ...more
Nicole Sweeney
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Review originally posted on The Bibliophile Chronicles.

I absolutely loved this book. Since finishing its I think I've recommended it to about seven different people. It's sweet, funny and very moving. This already hits one of the top spots for favourite books of the year, and it's only February. Mary's the Name is absolutely a must read.

The whole book is told from the perspective of Mary. She's eight, and has a very interesting outlook on life. She's hilarious, her thought processes and some of
Lisbeth Davies
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
I bought this because the publisher (Cranachan Books) and the author are such lovely people on Twitter so I was delighted to find that I absolutely loved this book from start to finish and I'm going to start picketing both publisher and author for a sequel I can cry happy tears over.

I'll have to "make do" with anything else he writes in the meantime :-)

Recommended to just about everybody I know. And those I don't.
Anne Hamilton
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
After her granpa is mixed up in a robbery at the bookies where he works, eight year old Mary finds herself on the run with him. They flee from Stirling to the Isle of Skye, where Mary starts to realise that this is no holiday and that granpa isn’t as truthful as he always expects her to be… The robbers are chasing him – and they’re fairly sure he has their money.
Mary’s the Name is the debut novel from Scottish writer, Ross Sayers. Narrated by a highly observant Mary, this is fiction that will ap
Xabier Cid
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I have many personal issues against this book: I don't like stories of deception to kids, and I ran exhausted of these novels where the main character is a little girl to make us laugh with her lack of understanding of the world. I read three or four very recently, and I would reckon that this may be a contemporary trend: girl meets girl and they solve a mystery while getting shocked by the inconsistency of the adult world.
However, there are many good things in this particular novel: how easy th
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read Mary's the Name for a book club I have recently joined in the place I work and I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

Being from Scotland myself, I really appreciated and related to the language, minor plot details and character behaviours and mannerisms. Usually, Scotland is exaggerated in film and literature but Mary's the Name was perfectly balanced and fun to read. The writing style made the book very easy to read. The fairly simple, yet detailed story line full of themes of family, kinship, f
Kirsty Grant
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was my first book of the year and it didn't disappoint. Mary is a great wee character that the reader is drawn to from page 1. This is a novel about an innocent child and a corrupt granddad - a diamond of a man who loves his granddaughter dearly. The author did a great job of writing from Mary's point of view when the character is so young. My only criticism would be the explaining of Scottish words - trust your reader. Otherwise, it was great. The plot was brilliant and I even had a gasp, ...more
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you Goodreads for sending me this book. This is the authors second novel, and I must say it is a great story. It is written and told through the eyes of Mary, who has been orphaned. She is now being cared for by her grandfather and unfortunately, and although he loves her, he has got himself mixed up in some trouble which has an effect on young Mary too. The setting is Scotland and the descriptive aspects of the country are great. I also think that the relationship between Mary and her gra ...more
Sandra Ireland
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book! I feel like I'm a bit late to the party with this one, and my only regret is that I didn't read it sooner. Not only is this a page-turning, memorable story crammed with nuance and irresistible observations from our 8 year-old protagonist, it is also a masterclass for other writers. The author's skill in sustaining the child's voice throughout the narrative is incomparable. It's laugh-out-loud funny, sweet and nostalgic, but also unflinching in its portrayal of this little ...more
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this read. Mary was a wonderful protagonist, and I loved seeing the story told through her eyes. As an adult reader, you instinctively know something more has gone on than Mary's aware of, but you also become a bit more trusting of her because of her youthful perspective. Her relationship with her Granda was heartwarming and I loved watching them interact together. I also loved the setting of the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Great characters, interesting story, wonderful setting, and comp ...more
Moira McPartlin
Eight year old Mary is an orphan who lives with her granpa. When Granpa gets mixed up in a robbery the two go on the run to Portree, Skye where things don't go according to plan. This is a delightful book told from Mary's perspective and it is this perspective that makes it so enjoyable for the reader. Not only is Mary's voice captivating but because of her innocence she doesn't get the whole picture whereas the reader does. It's a heartwarming tale filled with good and evil, lots of flawed char ...more
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An incredibly evocative journey told through the eyes of an eight year olf girl that made me laugh, made me think and definitely made me cry. Unashamedly Scottish and all the better for it, I very much look forward to the second book from this Author coming out this year.
Barbara Henderson
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book: Moving, funny, observant and real. I actually loved it.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mary's the Name

Suspense right from page one. A beautifully written tale. Loved the relationship between Mary and her Granpa. This book had it all mystery, laughter and heartbreak.
Amelia Bassiti
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. The "chaff" brought back my childhood in Scotland and the story-line was authentic and poignant.
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant! Such a great book.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is delightful and heartwarming. Orphaned Mary lives with her Grandpa and after witnessing a robbery at the bookies were he works, the two set off for life on the Isle of Skye, at first it appears to Mary that it is a holiday, but soon Mary begins to wonder if all is as she has been told.

The story is told from the point of view of Mary, who is totally lovable and funny. It is written with all the innocence of childhood, yet as the plot unfolds, as a reader you quickly realise that ther
Kate Avery
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites-16-17
Rating 4.5/5

If you were a girl with brown hair, you were a brunette. Boy’s couldn’t be brunettes. I though the word must be Scottish because the first bit, you said it like broon. I would usually have said brown. Granpa tried his best not to sound too Scottish around me so I wouldn’t pick up his bad habits. I said some things Scottish-y though. Sometimes a word like braw or pure chilly Baltic was better than a boring English word.

Mary and her Granpa are heading off on holiday. After witnessing a
Chiara Bullen
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Heart-warming, heart-wrenching and heart-breaking all at the same time, the story of Mary and her Grandpa is an absolute must read if you've spent any time living in Scotland. It demonstrates the wit and charm of Scottish literature, full of dialogue, beloved past-times and locations. I think this book particularly hit home with me as someone who grew up in a working class family in the central belt of Scotland, where a lot of the action takes place. Mary's 8-year old observations of class, crim ...more
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-books
I loved this book. It is so very special in its depiction of examining the relationship between grandfather and granddaughter. I admit to having a tear in my eye during several events in this book.

Mary's The Name centres around an eight-year-old girl, Mary, who lives with her grandfather. Her parents died when she was only a toddler, and her grandfather took her in, bringing her up, so her grandpa is very much her dad. Mary is a little bit quirky, hugely intelligent beyond her years and fiercel
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone else can tell you the premise of this book. I'll tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. A real page turner, though as Mary might say " how else would you read a book?"
The world through Mary's eyes is funny and sad. And funny again. You know the way you look at kids and wonder what's going on in their wee heads? Ross, through Mary, helps bring that to life. And he makes it as amusing, simple and tender as you'd expect it to be.
A great wee story with a great wee cha
Heather Lawson
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted here:

I was really excited to pick this book up because it’s one of those rare books where I knew absolutely nothing about it going in. I’ve started avoiding reading blurbs now so that I can always be surprised when going into a book and for this one in particular, it worked like a dream. I was utterly hooked.

Mary’s only eight but she’s going on an adventure with her granpa. After witnessing a robbery at the bookies where her granpa worke
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 52booksfor2017
To say that I loved this book would be an understatement. Mary stole my heart from the very first and as the story progressed, so my fondness for her grew and grew.

Ross Sayers has somehow managed to capture the essence of an eight year old little girl perfectly! Mary is smart, feisty, kind, loving, weird ( in only the best ways ), innocent, vulnerable and yet so incredibly strong.

The whole story is told from Mary's perspective, so we see everything through the eyes and thoughts of an eight yea
Linda Hill
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Eight year old orphan Mary lives with her Granpa, but when he’s involved in a robbery at the bookies where he works, life is about to change.

What a glorious creation Mary is! Ross Sayers has depicted childhood innocence in Mary coupled with a wisdom beyond her 8 years so that we have an individual it is impossible not to love. In essence, Mary’s The Name is about what it means to be a child growing up and making your way in the world. There’s a feistiness of character along with Mary’s attention
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Ross Sayers is a Young Adult author, originally from Stirling, now based in Edinburgh.

His first novel, 'Mary's the Name', was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book of the Year Award.

'Sonny and Me', his second book, was released in 2019, and his third, 'Daisy on the Outer Line', is due November 5th 2020.

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