ABOUT THE BOOK:
The death of the clan patriarch has thrown the tiny Shetland Islands community of Whale's Reef into turmoil.
Everyone assumed MacGregor Tulloch's heir to be his grand-nephew David, a local favorite, but when it is discovered that MacGregor left no will, David's grasping cousin Hardy submits his own claim to the inheritance, an estate that controls most of the island's land. And while Hardy doesn't enjoy much popular support, he has the backing of a shadowy group of North Sea oil investors. The courts have frozen the estate's assets while the competing claims are investigated, leaving many of the residents in financial limbo. The future of the island-and its traditional way of life-hangs in the balance.
Loni Ford is enjoying her rising career in a large investment firm in Washington, DC. Yet in spite of her outward success, she is privately plagued by questions of identity. Orphaned as a young child, she was raised by her paternal grandparents, and while she loves them dearly, she feels completely detached from her roots. That is until a mysterious letter arrives from a Scottish solicitor. . . .
Past and present collide in master storyteller Phillips's dramatic new saga of loss and discovery, of grasping and grace, and of the dreams of men and women everywhere.
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What is the connection between an old man, boy, and young lady in the early 1900's and the modernistic present of 2005? How does a D.C. gal connect with auld Shetlanders?
This was definitely an interesting book. I didn't particularly care for the execution of all of the interesting details, though. Half of the time the story felt like it moved backwards with so much reminiscing and historical retelling. While it was all quite interesting, so many details could have been left out and the actual story would have still stood strong. I suppose it would be my choice to read slowly throughout several weeks...but as I was on a deadline, I found myself wanting to skim all of those tedious details.
The spiritual substance of this book was also interesting. From David's youth having a sorceress which led him the opposite direction: to seek God for himself--to Loni's Quaker upbringing. There seemed to be a lot of mentions of religion but not really a lot of substance. It was more vaguely passed over as spiritualistic. It didn't come out as a strong Christian book...but almost a confusing one, that left me wondering just where these characters stood and what they believed. They said they read God's Word yet seemed content to live the Christian life apart from the church. Someone said Loni was God's Child, even though she had basically rejected Him since her childhood. There was a part about David hearing God's verbal voice. So...kind of a confusing spiritual plot.
Now...for those of you considering this book, if you like to read a complete story, wait until at least another book is out. So many loose threads are left hanging. I can't dispose WHICH threads lest I leave spoilers. It's enough to make me want to read the second book, if I have time when it comes out.
One character is vulgar: Jimmy Joe used mild language--words that I just personally don't care to use--and insinuated things like sodomy (he wasn't one, but in his vulgarity basically asked others if they were). I mean yeah, his ploy to buy the island was intriguing and his character being defined as despicable was vivid...but...yeah, not for me.
Several (calm) scenes in a pub. Language used about women who were assumed of ill repute. No romance to speak of, but an allusion that a man made to a woman about having fun.
I did and did not like the book. I loved the Shetland dialect! Ah! That was authentic. I liked the whole Laird and Chief laws and inheritances. David was definitely a favorite character. But, there was just a style about this book that I can't say I embraced. I guess there were enough insinuations and hints (above mentioned) about things I just didn't care for.
*I received this book in exchange for my honest review from LitFuse Publicity*
Michael Phillips is a bestselling author with more than 70 of his own titles. In addition, he has served as editor/redactor of nearly 30 more books. He is known as the man responsible for the reawakened interest in George MacDonald of the last 30 years. In addition to the MacDonald titles adapted/edited for today's reader, his publishing efforts in bringing back full-length quality facsimile editions also spawned renewed interest in MacDonald's original work. Michael and his wife, Judy, spend time each year in Scotland but make their home near Sacramento, California.