The year in 1894 and the place is Stirling, Scotland. It is the day before Christmas. Margaret Campbell, a teacher in Edinburgh, has been home visiting her parents and brother. But it has not gone well. Her younger brother Alan had been injured when a youth, some twelve years ago, and is wheelchair bound. He has become a bitter man.
Meg has had enough of his tirades and escapes the house, anxious to take the train back to Edinburgh. The snow is heavy but the train finally leaves.
On the train she meets a handsome man she finds out is Gordon Shaw, the very man who, in a drunken state, injured Alan.
Gordon is attracted to Meg and she to him. And then the train is stopped by a drift of snow and the two are forced to walk back to Stirling – and to a very awkward situation.
I have come to really like the Christmas novellas. (I've read all of Anne Perry's.) And this is a good one. There are many issues dealt with in this story. How long is the past to direct the present? Should forgiveness ever be withheld? Is it ever right to lie when the truth would hurt so much?
An added plus is that you learn a great deal about the Victorian Christmas traditions and celebrations, and about curling.
The book was a little predictable, or was it just great foreshadowing by Liz? Nonetheless, a fine holiday read.
A Reader's Guide is included at the end of the novel. (So is a recipe for Scottish shortbread.)
Liz has created a special website for readers who love Scottish fiction: www.MyScottishHeart.com.
You can find Liz's photos of Stirling at www.Pinterist.com/LizCurtisHiggs and at www.Facebook.com/MyScottishHeart.
Liz Curtis Higgs has written thirty books including her six Scottish historical novels. She has won several awards. She and her husband live in a nineteenth-century farmhouse near Louisville, Kentucky.
WaterBrook Press, 224 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.