13 January 2010

Review: Jennifer Roberson - Daughter Of The Glen

~purchase a copy here~
~author website~

Paperback: 556 pages
Publisher: Kensington (May 1, 1998)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1575662892
ISBN-13: 978-1575662893

Genre: Historical Romance
Main Characters: Catriona Campbell and Alasdair Og MacDonald
Book Origin: Personal Library

Cover Summary:
Historical adventure and passionate romance unfold against the heather-strewn hills of a divided Scotland. A land of majestic castles and bitterly warring clans becomes the towering backdrop for the story of a man and a woman whose love cannot be denied-- not by a centuries-old feud nor by a betrayal so shocking it is remembered still, whenever bagpipes play their mournful songs of the Campbells and the MacDonalds...

LADY OF THE GLEN tells of a time and a place like no other-- when political treachery and royal intrigue ruled the day... a time when countrymen battled for their freedom and usurpers sought crowns. At the novel's center is a love story of breathtaking scope: a man and a woman-- enemies from birth-- know from the moment they meet that they will lie in each other's arms someday. But their love, for centuries forbidden, comes at the most dangerous of times.

LADY OF THE GLEN tells of Catriona Campbell's enduring love for Alasdair Og MacDonald, the second-born son of her clan's most powerful enemy, the Laird of Glencoe. It is MacDonald who alone shows the young Catriona kindness in a harsh and violent world. As the years pass, the heart proves stronger than the sword, and they boldly pledge their love...to handfest forever. While the Dutch King William conspires against the Scottish rebels who seek to return the exiled James Stewart to the throne, Catriona and Alasdair share a pssion that joins them forever-- although the lovers become pawns of war...and of history.

I am in silent awe as I close this book. It is Jennifer Roberson’s astounding knowledge of the Scottish time period and massacre of Glencoe that bears the foundation for the reader to meet the highlanders of long ago. The sound of the bagpipes echo through this story and subsequently through my heart and I saw it all in my mind’s eye. Like I’m the witness of all the events that lead up to the day that the earth ran red at Glencoe. Moreover, I felt it with every character LADY OF THE GLEN gave voice to and it turned out to be a more vibrant and life like tale then I anticipated.

This story takes you on a journey of a child growing up in to a woman, a strong willed. bold and courageous woman named Cat a.k.a. Catriona Campbell. Her older brothers tease her merciless about her boyish looks and at the age of ten she meets Dair a.k.a Alisdair Og MacDonald and for the first time is shown kindness and understanding. With that, the seed of love is planted though they will not meet again for a very long time. As Cat grows up many things happen that shape the woman she is to become and the politics between the lairds of the highland clans masterfully tells of all events leading up to the massacre of Glencoe.

Every character is born of highland blood and highland pride, with their unique code of honor I feel that the author truly captured the very nature of Scottish men and women of that time. With a huge body that is accompanied by a booming voice I believe MacIain is the very soul of what a Laird should be like. Breadelbane is a man of intrigue and political games that plans for his own pride and wealth no matter whom will pay the price for his scheming. But still, though each main and secondary character played his or her part, that which made LADY OF THE GLEN all the more riveting to read, is the story of Cat and Alasdair Og that will not be easily forgotten.

Jennifer Roberson’s passion for the events surrounding Glencoe provides a tremendously atmospheric setting for the love between Alasdair and Cat to reveal itself upon. The reality of this story, as much is based on actual history, gives its impact to all that occurs between the characters and in the end I just could not keep it dry. Also because of the fact that from the moment you read the first page in this book you meet Cat as a child and see her grow up in to this incredible woman. With that the author emotionally connected me with Cat and I felt like I experienced all the ups and downs alongside her.

Cat and Dair are both so very realistic in their characteristics that I almost forgot that they are born from the imagination of the author, though Alasdair Og has truly existed. It is over the years that the love progresses and ultimately grows into an adult love that demands acknowledgement. The Campbell’s and the MacDonald are rivalry clans of each other and they just don’t intermarry. But born from highlander blood it is not in Cat nor Dair’s nature to listen to what they should or should not do. Together they tell a story of where life can take you and that opportunities for love to be expressed is scarce in those days. I felt their story unfold, each occurrence, each revealed emotion that lead’s up to a magnificent final in the last 100 pages and their story made a lasting impression.

For me it took a bit of time to get in to the story but once captured my attention never wavered for one second and I would say this is not a light hearted read. As I closed this book I felt the same after seeing the movie BRAVEHEART, emotionally wrung out as the romance soared high but there was a price to pay. Hope, revenge, love, honor, their way of life (and perhaps it still is) speaks of an intensity and belief that many would seek. LADY OF THE GLEN will give it all to the reader if one holds a love for the history and the Scottish people. A unique Scottish Romance I will not likely forget anytime soon and with that makes it a classic on my bookshelf!

4,5 stars

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  1. A prize to high to pay you say, sounds like a emotional read. But I sure love an author that can capture the era

  2. I think I read this a long time ago and I agree, Roberson captures the history very well along with a great romance...great review!!!

  3. Hey Leontine! Wonderful Review!This sounds like an amazing read I'm writing the title down now!!

  4. @Blodeuedd - Yes, it was quite the emotional read but I kinda like 'em like that ;)

    @Celticlady - The cover in the blogpost is actually the reprint version, I still have the old one where the H/H are drawn sketches. I just checked, my copy is of 1996. The history and romance are a 2-1 punch and she did it in an awesome way.

    @tricia - If you love history, a coming-of-age story and a budding romance growing in to something deep than you'll going to love this one. It's not your run-of-the-mill historical but it is one of my treasured novels on the shelves :)

  5. Damn you know my hot button. I love Braveheart and now I'll have to read this one.


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