The novel starts slowly, but don't let that put you off, once you become engrossed in the family drama of the Napier family you will be hooked. It begins with the death of the over-bearing, tyrannical husband, Sir Charles Napier and relates the cruel rules and regulations of the British and Scottish aristocracy. As you read about the domineering Sir Charles, you wonder how could anyone put up with such despicable behavior. How is it that Lady Madeleine allowed such shabby treatment...you begin to see how relationships are damaged by lack of communication and mutual respect for others. It is so well-written with endearing characters and you are almost sad when it ends but happy to see a good ending. A truly wonderful story of family relationships and how some individuals are destroyed...and others survive to begin a new life.....
A warm friendly and involving novel a real page turner
I really thought I would like this better, based on the reviews. For me, it was such a cliche: woman ends up sharing large house with odds and ends of people who become a "family".
The writing style did not suit me at all. The author "tells a story", explaining to you how each character feels. I prefer writing style that shows you what is going on, and lets you draw your own conclusion.
I thought there was real possibility with the main character. Discovering she could make decisions and please herself after her tyrant husband dies. But instead I found her annoyingly "perfect". Pretty, petite, nice all the time. None of the characters really lived for me.
Everything that happens seems very obvious to me. No real surprises.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
After her husband dies, a middle-aged woman is left with Drumveyn--a remote, crumbling Scottish estate. And now, one by one, unexpected visitors arrive--her two grown children, a child surrounded by secrets, and a solid quiet man whose arms are as strong as his resolve. Gradually, she begins to explore the much-hidden places of her heart, and finds a whole new world of opportunity in a tale aglow with feeling and alive with love.
When Madeleine Napier's husband, Sir Charles, dies, she is left with Drumveyn, a remote, crumbling house in a snug Scottish glen. And the stunning realization that she had, for her twenty-six years of marriage, no life of her own, and that her two married children have become strangers. But as Madeleine begins reassessing her future and Drumveyn's, her daughter and her son rally to her in unexpected suppport.
Now change comes to Drumveyn as surprise visitors arrive - a lonesome child surrounded by secrets; a zany young cook able to serve up laughter even as she hides her tears; and a solid, quiet man whose arms are as strong as his resolve. And gradually Madeleine gets the chance to explore the hidden places of her heart - in a story aglow with feeling and alive with love.
I'm not a great fan of romance genre. This book has the obligatory 'romance' here and there. Which I don't care for. But judging it as a good story - fiction novel - I really enjoyed it. For myself, I just skipped a paragraph or so here and there. If not for that I'd have probably given it a 3 and a half rating.