On one of my many (and I do mean MANY) forays to Half Price Books, I picked up this novel by Kathleen Givens in the clearance section. You can’t beat a 2 dollar book, so I decided to try it out. I was pleasantly surprised.
The novel set in the 13th century (1263 to be exact) tells the tale of Margaret MacDonald, a laird’s daughter who is getting ready to make an advantageous marriage. All is well with Margaret’s world, she has a loving, if distant, mother and father, tons of brothers and one sister. She is a strong spirited girl and wants more to life than the marriage of most high-born ladies, she wants love. Lachlan, her intended, is the man of her dreams. He cares for her and Margaret believes she is in love. All that changes when Margaret discovers Lachlan and her best friend Fiona, having sex in Fiona’s house. Margaret, devastated, refuses to marry Lachlan. She holds firm to that conviction, but her father tells her that she must marry him sign the contracts were already signed. Margaret still refuses and an argument ensues, when her father announces that Margaret, her sister Nell and her brother Rignor, will go to court to experience life there. Margaret thinks this a perfect plan so she can appeal to the king to break the marriage contract. They journey to court, where Margaret appeals to the king and he refuses her appeal, Lachlan still becomes determined to marry her and Margaret meets an old fortune-teller who repeats her fortune to Margaret a dragon is coming and only the gold man will save you all (or something along those lines). As they travel back home, Margaret becomes disillusioned and wants nothing to do with her life laid out before her. All that changes when they return home to find the Vikings have come and destroyed their whole land. Nothing is left, their family is gone, except for one brother who was kidnapped. Margaret, terrified, tries to think of how she will survive and what will they do now. As they are looking through their old home, Gannon appears (a golden half-Irish, half-Viking) and Margaret is spell-bound but does not want to be because he is a Viking. The rest of the story follows Margaret’s adventures to restore peace to her bit of Highland shore and her increasing awareness of Gannon and his to her. Their growing love in the face of danger creates many adventures.
I enjoyed this book for multiple reasons: 1. it satisfied my love of history and the Viking era, 2. my love of a good romance and love story 3. Scotland-need I say more and 4. got a hand it to a fiery female character. This book combined all those reasons into one well-rounded story that I enjoyed and read pretty much in a day. I couldn’t put the book down (that symbolizes a really good book :)), there was so much to read and comprehend within the novel that I really loved it. The history was accurate and very insightful; I learned things that I didn’t know and it gave me more of a reason to love history, Scotland, and Vikings. I really just love a good historical fiction romance novel. Kathleen creates such a poignant world surround Margaret and Gannon, that I truly felt like I could have lived with them in 1263 (which I wish, but then not because well it is not 2012, lets just say that). Margaret as the feisty female of her time, was an amazing character that I loved throughout the whole novel. She wanted more out of her life than her “proscribed” role of wife. She wanted love that survived death, that lasted all eternity. That being said, she did not just sit back and let it come to her, she actually went out to grab what she wanted. She took an active role in her own life, which is what makes her an amazing female character. Gannon, is a manly man, a Irish Viking that just about melts your heart through the novel. You want him to be with Margaret because he is the fierce warrior, yet he has a soft side, which he shows often to Margaret.
All of the adventures in the novel are really well thought out and some are heart-wrenching and others are funny and passionate. All together the adventures, the background, and the character interaction in this novel creates a world in 1263 Scotland, that you desperately want to be a part of. Well done, Kathleen Givens, On a Highland Shore is a novel that I would recommend to all of my literature buddies.
Rating: 400 pages out of 500
Upcoming: Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James and Juliet by Anne Portier. I am going to try to be more diligent in posting on here; I’ve been kind of lacking :(.
Side note: For those who love the Fifty Shades series go to Etsy.com and order the “laters, baby” t-shirt from Tree Baubles. It is amazing and so worth it! A big thank you to the Tree Baubles ladies, thanks for an awesome shirt, I loves it!