I came across this book from a recommendation which sounded very interesting and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I’m still reeling a bit from the ending and it’s taking me a bit to process all that’s gone on but I also really wanted to talk about this book.
From the moment I opened the first page, I was hooked and found it hard to put down. I have a soft spot for books that talk about the Celts, Time Traveling and mystery which was a few of the things this book had. Maggie Livingstone is a grieving Mother whose daughter Ellie died from the same epileptic seizures she often gets, yearns to move away from Glasgow, is trying to stay connected to her seventeen year old son Graeme, is about the be divorced from her husband, and will soon have a lobectomy to try to stop the seizures from disrupting her life as it already has.
While in the midst of all this, she decides to take a three month hiatus to a small town known as Dunadd where she plans to finish her thesis for a doctorate that was put on hold and take a break from the craziness that she was surrounded by. Her nearest neighbor is an older gentleman known as Jim and she also befriends a black cat that she names Winnie. As she researches for her thesis, she struggles with dreams during her seizures that seem so real and soon starts to wonder if they might not be. She soon learns that these dreams she has take place in 8th Century Scotland when the Celts ruled that particular area and it was the seat for royals. Knowing just the basics of Gaelic, she finds herself drawn to a quiet man known as Prince Fergus who is a father to Illa that bears a strong resemblance to Maggie’s lost daughter, widower and brother to King Murdoch. With the help of her neighbor Jim who knows quite a bit about Dunadd’s history, she soon learns that her dreams of Celtic Scotland seem to be happening around the mid 700’s and is near the time when King Murdoch is about to be defeated by the Picts though history doesn’t say whether he dies in that particular battle.
The more Maggie dreams about a man named Fergus’s world, the harder it is for her to separate her present life from that of the to the 8th Century, caught between a rock and a hard place. She wants to stay in a world where Fergus and Illa are but also wants to be more present in her son Graeme’s life who she feels hasn’t been loved enough since Ellie died. Eventually she has to make a choice that will alter one world or the other and leave her heart even more split than it already is.
Claire did a great job of describing life in 8th Century Scotland and I found myself almost imagining being in that time period. What a different world from the present day in the sense of technology and modern plumbing but also the connection of family and the importance of working together. I’m always interested in reading more about the Celts before the Picts arrived to take over though the glimpse had me yearning to learn more. Due to the fact that there weren’t a lot of records kept during those years which was before most of the area was converted into Christianity, much of that history can really only be guessed at.
I really enjoyed the concept of how two people from different worlds who have language barriers can find themselves drawn to each other and figure out a way to communicate. Maggie’s Gaelic is rusty at best and Fergus has no inkling of English but they still can’t fight the attraction to each other though Fergus’s mother and father want him to marry someone that has royal lineage and to have more kids. You can’t always choose who you are to be with but sometimes fate can have other ideas and give you more options than planned.
This book has inspired me to want to learn more about 8th Century Scotland and about the various different types of people that helped contribute to the diverseness that is Scotland today. A lot has changed since the early days of Scotland but what hasn’t is some of the areas that are still rather wild and how beautiful the landscape is.
Perhaps some day I can visit this amazing country, meet some of the people, have a bottle of Fraoch and take lots of pictures of the beautiful landscapes. In the meantime, I will enjoy my soothing hot cup of Heather tea that was imported from Edinburgh and hope that some day I will read a sequel to this fascinating tale.
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Thank you so much for tuning in and I hope that you’ve enjoyed my bookish ramblings. As you can see, the Celts and Scotland are two subjects that I can’t help reading about especially if there’s some romance involved. I found the concept of time being continuous and not limited to one straight timeline fascinating. I honestly don’t know if time travel is possible but I do think that we have the option to see things in our dreams that we probably won’t in real life. Now it’s time to finish this post and jump into the other books that are waiting to be read. Please feel free to tune in soon to see what next I have to ramble about.