Monday, January 16, 2017

Book Review: The Lady of the Lakes

I am really excited to be part of the blog tour for Josi Kilpack's new historical fiction novel, The Lady of the Lakes. It's based on the life of Walter Scott and it was mesmerizing.

As an English teacher, I was already acquainted with much of Walter Scott's work, however, I didn't know a lot about his personal life beyond facts and dates included on a timeline. This book breathes life into the man behind the literature. Ms. Kilpack does make it clear that her book is fictionalized history, that while some things are known facts, other things she embellished to make the story. She does include chapter notes and they add more little gems as to what facts are known and what she imagined to make the story work. I enjoyed seeing a little peek into her research!

We start out with Walter meeting Mina, a woman he knows from the very first is going to be important to him in his life. Their love story from the very beginning had me hooked with all its ups and downs. I love the way Ms. Kilpack used language to draw the reader in and immerse them in the time period so seamlessly. There was never a point where I felt like I was being given a history lesson, yet I walked away knowing a lot more about Scottish history and customs. I loved seeing Walter as he could have been as a young man in love, struggling to deal with proprieties and social customs, when he just wanted to follow his heart. And, while the story didn't go in the direction I thought it would, it was compelling and gave all the reasons why Mr. Scott's poetry resonates with so many people.

The characterization was fantastic and romance readers will love this addition to the Proper Romance line. I think it's one of Ms. Kilpack's best books and it will have a special place on my rainy day go-to shelf.

Here is the back copy:

Walter Scott has three passions: Scotland, poetry, and Mina Stuart. Though she is young and they are from different stations in society, Walter is certain their love is meant to be. For years, he has courted her through love letters. She is the sunshine of his soul.

Though Mina shares Walter’s love of literature and passionate temperament, it’s hard for her to know if she truly loves him or if she has only been dazzled by his flattery. When she meets the handsome and charming William Forbes, her heart is challenged. Who will she choose?

But as every poet knows, “The course of true love never did run smooth,” and on a windy morning in the lake country, Walter meets Charlotte.

At twenty-six, Charlotte Carpenter believes she will never find love. After all, she is a Catholic-born Frenchwoman living in London with a family history shadowed by scandal. Though quiet, practical, and determined to live a life of independence, her heart longs for someone to love her and a place to call home.

Passion and promises collide as Walter, Mina, and Charlotte must each decide the course for their futures. What are they each willing to risk to find love and be loved in return?

You can download your Kindle copy here

No comments: