Thursday, March 24, 2022

Book Review Smoke on the Whiteadder

 

This thrilling historical novel takes place in Scotland in the 1500's.  It is very well researched and in addition to following the  tale of the Cowan family you will learn about historical figures such as Mary Queen of Scotts, Queen Elizabeth, King James I, Sir Walter Raleigh, and many more memorable people from this time period.  

The Plot Line

     The story follows the lives of the Cowan family who live in Chirnside, Berwickshire, Scotland in the estate called Edington.  They are tenants of Sir Lauder.  Sir Lauder lives in the castle on the  manor and his tenants live on his property in meager housing.  They tend the land around their homes and pay a portion of their income as rent to Sir Lauder.  Sir Lauder has great control over his tenants including what they plant and what animals they have.
      In this book we are first introduced to Paul Cowan, as he is meeting with Sir Lauder for his report of his crops.  In the book we follow the joys and sorrows of the family through three generations.  We rejoice in the marriages and births and are sad when death, famine and home burnings are way too prevalent through the years.  The book shows how the political and religious turmoil of the times effects the family and their lifestyle.

The Book on Amazon

Here is a link to the book which can be purchased through Amazon both as a paperback and in electronic form.  Smoke on the Whiteadder

The Author's Notes

The author's notes are of course at the end of the book, so I didn't realize that the Cowans were a real family until I got to that point.  For me, this made the story even more interesting,  Here is a quote from the author's notes.
     "This family saga is based on the genealogial journey of my maternal ancestors, the Cowans.  It necessarily includes mention of related families as they encoountered the Cowans.  Consequently, you will be introduced to people with many other surnames.
     I like to put my stories in context with the broader social picture, especially as it describes the conditions that resulted in particular actions on the part of the story's charcters.  For this reason, the book includes vignettes about people like Henry VIII, Mary I, known as Bloody Mary, Elizabeth I, Sir Walter Raleigh and many more."

My Recommendation

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I found  it very compelling and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.  I am looking forward to the next book by the author where he continues on with the story of the Cowans.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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5 comments:

  1. How interesting that this historical fiction is based on the author's own ancestors. I would be particularly interested in reading this story because my ancestors came from Scotland and must have lived through similar times such as those described in this book. Thanks for your recommendation, Mary Beth.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Life is so funny at times. I just started a book that is in this same time frame. Who would have thought that! Anyways, this book sounds like it would be very interesting and having family that hails from that land makes it even more interesting. Thanks for this review and I'm putting it on my to read list right now!

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  3. Oh, I love historical fiction, especially if it is based on accurate history. I know that is a lot of work for writers and I very much appreciate their research. I know I will enjoy reading this book. I have already downloaded it to my kindle this morning and look forward to reading it as soon as I finish my current book. Thanks for introducing us to the book and the author!

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  4. Anything Scotland interests me, and this book sounds like one I would thoroughly enjoy. I love the historical aspect to this story - based on her ancestors - so interesting.

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  5. I love reading anything to do with history, this sounds like an interesting read and certainly something that I would like. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete

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