I don't usually mention them, but I have to say I was very drawn to
the cover of this novel both for its beautiful appearance and lovely
feel. This is a quality publication in every sense of the phrase.
Each chapter was headed by highly apt quotes. I found myself
referring back to them at the end of each chapter to see just what the
author might have been hinting at when she chose those proverbs.
What texture the deftly interwoven archaic Scottish words added to the
dialogue! And though the novel was of a heavy note overall,
there were several snippets of speech which were quite amusing and
lightened things up a bit. (However, as a hearing impaired person I
don't think I could have managed the audio book version of this story.
The Scottish dialect and words would have skittered off my ears and
never even have entered my brain for examination.)
I also greatly appreciated the fact that this novel didn't appear to
be whitewashed. There were healthy doses of the old superstitions that even the
staunchest Christians of the day were likely to believe in.
Inspirational or otherwise, I'm not a fan of novels where I can feel the
author standing on a soapbox with a bullhorn inside the story.
However, despite the fact that this plot was plucked straight from the
Bible (though altered somewhat to fit its new setting of 18th C.
Scotland) with the exception of perhaps two pages out of the entire
novel I felt that all the sentiments which came from the characters felt
appropriate for them. In other words, I was hearing the characters and not the
Size-wise sisters Leana and Rose sounded to be a nicely-rounded average.
But there was a real struggle over appearances as Leana was plain and
Rose was the village beauty.