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~Thorn in My Heart~

by Liz Curtis Higgs

Heroines: varied


           On the misty moors of eighteenth century Scotland a family saga unfolds.  The highest hope of any daughter born in that day was to marry and marry well.  But what is to be done when two sisters each long for the same man?  How can happiness be found in such a bitter situation which threatens to drive a wedge between the most loving of sisters, forcing them to act in ways they never expected they could?


           Can any man be worthy of such attention?


What worked for me:


           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 author.


            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.


What didn't work for me:


            For all the fighting done over him, I just wasn't a fan of Jamie.  To me he seemed terribly shallow and immature.


            I had a good sense of where the story was going but that still didn't alleviate the tension that built up as I cruised along through the novel.  And the ending didn't really resolve all of it either because I was left wondering what happened to the other sister.


            I've mentioned this in other reviews, but I'll say it again.  I am not entirely comfortable with first cousin romances despite their appropriateness to the day and age of the setting.  (I don't have anything against folks who have paired off with their cousins, mind you.  I just can't see myself doing it is all.)




          A must-read for fans of Scottish Historical or Christian novels, though one need not be Christian to savor this wonderful story.

Warning: While it is clearly a Christian novel and does not go graphically into detail, the author does not shy from the physical aspects of marriage as they occur in the story.

If you liked "Thorn in My Heart" you might also enjoy "The Red Tent" and "The Bluebird and the Sparrow".

Have you read this book and have a comment to make on it? Join a discussion about the book at the Dangerous Curves forum or submit a review to this website



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