Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fair is the Rose by Liz Curtis Higgs (A retro pick of the week)

The Scottish Lowlands, October 1789.
The second in the Lowlands of Scotland series was a true emotional rollarcoaster. By the end of the book, I was totally caught up in-and cheering for-Leana and Jamie, although my initial allegeance was with Rose and Jamie. As a mother who has breastfed her children, reading about the church inflicted process of redemption was so heartbreaking and unfair to Leana that I shed tears. I closed the book saying "This is NOT how I wanted this one to end." I went from applauding Rose to seeing her as the protagonist.

As Jamie, Leana and Rose continue to parallel the Biblical love story between Jacob, Leah and Rachel, I am consumed with the raw human emotions that must have exchanged between the three of them. More than just sharing a man, how would it feel to know you carried a mans name, but not his heart? Or worse, carried his heart but not his name? I am hungry to know more.

Although there are still two more remaining books in the series, I am already sad to part with these charactors. I wish this series could go on indefinately. I give Fair as a Rose a close to perfect recommendation not because Higgs was lacking on any level. She surpassed every expectation regarding the storyline, charactors and my ongoing hunger to read more. Instead, my less than perfect review is because I would have rather it ended differently. That is a fault on my end, not Higgs. Read Fair is the Rose and weep.

From the publisher: A year has come and gone since Jamie McKie fled for his life, arriving at Auchengray in search of sanctuary and a bonny wife. Young Rose McBride, as fair a lass as any in Scotland, dearly loves her handsome cousin—but so does her older sister, Leana.

Determined to have Jamie all to herself, Rose puts in motion one desperate plan after another, enlisting the aid of Lillias Brown, a wise woman—a wutch, some say—still keen on the old ways. Impetuous Rose ignores the cruel whispers that travel up and down the parish hills, never dreaming of the tragic consequences that await her.

Her sister, Leana, clings to her hard-won sense of peace and assurance by a slender thread of faith. Day and night, Leana’s hours are apent caring for wee Ian and praying that her future will hold more promise than her past.

Jamie McKie is busy making his own plans to return home to Glentrool and claim his inheritance. To do so means facing Evan, the brother whose blessing he stole, and Alec, the father whom he ruthlessly deceived. It is a perilous journey that will test the depth of his courage, the strength of his sword, and the tenacity of his vow to honor Almighty God, no matter the cost.

Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press; 1st Edition/1st Printing edition (March 16, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1578561272
ISBN-13: 978-1578561278
Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1 inches