A romantic tale of young love and old Edinburgh from the pen of a consummate storyteller and acclaimed Scottish historian. It’s 1822 and Scotland’s capital is a city of both splendour and squalor. Kate Dunbar is worked like a slave all day and preyed upon at night in the gloomy vaults that lurk under the Old Town’s South Bridge but never gives up hope of a better life for herself and her beloved young brother Andrew.
When wealthy young medical student Richard Hope walks into her life, Kate knows that his interest in her could lead them both into danger. Yet it’s not long before the two of them have fallen head-over-heels in love. Others are watching the young lovers. Radical booksellers Peggy and Nathaniel Henderson have Kate and Andrew’s best interests at heart. Their greedy and grasping uncle doesn’t, and he soon soon starts laying his own evil plans. Kate and Richard’s passionate and poignant romance intertwines with the richly-imagined colour and pageantry of King George IV’s historic visit to Edinburgh in 1822, and culminates in the heart-stopping drama of the Great Fire of Edinburgh of 1824. Can their love affair have a happy ending or will fate, the evil that threatens them and the rigid rules of class and society allow them only one sweet moment of happiness?
Romantic Historical Fiction
Heat Rating 2
Review Rating 4.5
REVIEW BY: RAVEN MCALLEN
Before I even start this review, I’m going to say, no spoilers; not even a little one. This book is too beautiful to give anything away. From the first paragraph, Maggie Craig paints pictures in your mind. You don’t read about Edinburgh in 1822, you are in Edinburgh in 1822. You can smell the city, taste the fear, and hear the noise. You’re under South Bridge, up on the parapets and with poor Andrew in his nightmares.
As for Kate his big sister, you shudder with her, laugh with her and feel all her sorrows and her joys. When she meets Richard you know her life won’t be easy, there are two many people determined to make sure of that.
This story covers the middle of the 19th century, (it finishes in 18720 and if you want to learn about Edinburgh and Scotland during those times, and be totally immersed in a brilliant story as well, this is for you.) Beware I cried buckets at more than one point, and the ending? Ah my, one of the best and most unexpected ending ever!
I would say some people might take a while to get into Maggie’s style of writing; she has a very distinctive voice. This is not a criticism, merely a point I need to make. At times, I found myself googling the odd word, and I’m used to the Scottish idiom and dialects. But without that, this book would not be the brilliant and beautiful book it is. It’s for that reason only I’ve gone to 4 ½ out of 5. Reader a warning, stock up on tissues and chocolate!
At time of review this title is available in digital format for $2.99