I enjoyed this historical novel introducing me to a collection of islands off the southwest coast of England I did not even know existed. White uses a bit of pirate lore to set up a story taking place in 1906. The Isles of Scilly were a popular places for pirates and smugglers. White supposes a fictional search for some loot the pirate Mucknell, an actual historical pirate, may have left on one of the Scillies.
I found Lady Elizabeth very engaging. She's a woman before her time, loving nature and capturing it in drawings. She not the typical society woman, ready to marry a titled gentleman. I admired her escape to the Scillies and cheered her on her desire to live a life she would enjoy. I liked the other characters too, except the ones thwarting Lady Elizabeth's happiness. All were well developed and were good in supporting the plot movement.
I like it when historical novels address issues of the day and White included several in this novel. One was the relationships between women of different classes. Lady Elizabeth and her maid were friends, or were they? Class distinction reared its ugly head in their relationship. Another was the place of unmarried women in the family. Lady Elizabeth's brother was determined to arrange a marriage for her, much to her dismay. We hope true love will win out. There are good Christian themes included, such as God knowing each of us by name. We also see an older woman having insight and knowledge only God could give.
This is a good novel for readers who would enjoy one about a woman who feels out of place in society and finds her way in romance and in faith. You'll get a little pirate mystery and suspense and you will be introduced to the beautiful Isles of Scilly.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Roseanna M White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author of numerous novels, ranging from biblical fiction to romances set in America to an Edwardian British series. She lives with her family in West Virginian. You can find out more at www.roseannamwhite.com.
Bethany House, 384 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)