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A debut novelist brought up in Daliburgh has fulfilled a lifetime’s ambition by publishing a children’s book.

'Jasmin and Hari go to Scotland' by Ronalda Hari is based on her children’s holiday adventures visiting their grandparents in South Uist.

The family visit Ronalda’s home island each year, and for her kids, born in London, it is a world away from what they are used to in England. Not least noticing the lack of traffic lights, the wildlife and animals, and the seemingly endless number of lochs.

It was these visits to family and friends in Uist that proved to be the inspiration for Ronalda’s journey into children’s books. Peaceful beaches and tractor rides were the perfect contrast to city life.

Despite only being on sale for a little over a week, Jasmin and Hari go to Scotland has already earned five-star reviews and sparked plans to publish a Gaelic language version and a possible Jasmin and Hari series.

The new book’s appeal has not gone unnoticed in Ronalda’s new hometown, where the local library has arranged a reading. Nor here in the islands, with two local businesses, Maybury Gardens and Hebridean Jewellers, planning to stock the book from April.

Despite living hundreds of miles away, Ronalda Hari, nee Walker, is firmly attached to her island roots. 

The former Sgoil Lionacleit pupil is a qualified radiographer and lived in London for almost two decades. She returned home to Uist each year, first with her husband Satwinder, who also fell in love with the islands, and then as a family with Jasmin (10) and Hari (7).

In 2020, they relocated to West Lancashire, and Ronalda took a career break. However, she fell ill, and during her recovery, Ronalda promised herself she would write the children’s book she had always wanted to pen.

Says Ronalda: “I undertook a short writing course and realised that I actually had characters and a plot, so I just had to piece it all together.”

She adds: “Myself and my husband read to our children every day. It was something that is very important to us as parents, so I hope this story brings joy to other children.”

A by-product of the book was promoting the islands, an issue she was heavily involved in through helping her mother run her South Uist Airb’n’b business.

Jasmin and Hari go to Scotland has also spawned an official author website (ronaldaadventure.co.uk), which dives into Ronalda’s world of words where “stories come to life and imagination knows no bounds.”

The website also offers behind-the-scenes glimpses into her writing journey and updates on upcoming projects. 

Jasmin and Hari go to Scotland is on sale on Amazon.
It is priced at £7.99 for the large print paperback and £4.99 for the Kindle version.