It was a Scotland of quiet manners and reserved friendliness, a Scotland in which nothing much happened, where lives were lived unadventurously, and sometimes narrowly, to the grave. These were people with a place, wed to the very ground in which they would eventually be placed. The urban dead were reduced to ashes, disposed of, leaving no markers, and then forgotten; memory here was longer and gave the illusion that we counted for more. It was a simple matter of identity, thought Isabel. If people do not know who we are, then naturally we are the less to them. Here, in this village, everybody would know who the other was, which made that crucial difference.
Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, by Alexander McCall Smith, chapter 20.