By Michael Scott
Subtitled ‘Premonitions of Freedom’, ‘Harbingers’ is the last volume in a trilogy of novels, following ‘Harlequin’ and ‘The Halcyon’s Nest’.
The conflicts and dramas of Ossian and Ariel, as long-term friends, are placed in the context of a community living partly in Fern Manor and partly on Harlequin Isle. Their wives, Sarah and Julietta, are following their own paths of self-realisation, with redefinition of their own paths as individuals. The two children, Adam and Auriel, have their own, unique problems of selfhood which involves connection to, yet separation from, the adults.
Amongst the other characters, one stands out as crucial to the personal development of these six people. This is Max, a wise philosopher. At the end of his life, he exemplifies for them the qualities of ultimate freedom.
This is therefore a novel appropriate to the current time, when Western culture faces the same stark choices and fragile hopes of the characters described in Harbingers.