*Cover image and synopsis courtesy of Good Reads
Synopsis: Two brothers fight to claim one father’s blessing.
Two sisters long to claim one man’s heart.
In the autumn of 1788, amid the moors and glens of the Scottish Lowlands, two brothers and two sisters each embark on a painful journey of discovery.
Jamie and Evan McKie both want their father Alec’s flocks and lands, yet only one brother will inherit Glentrool. Leana and Rose McBride both yearn to catch the eye of the same handsome lad, yet only one sister will be his bride.
A thorny love triangle emerges, plagued by lies and deception, jealousy and desire, hidden secrets and broken promises. Brimming with passion and drama, Thorn in My Heart brings the past to vibrant life, revealing spiritual truths that transcend time and penetrate the deepest places of the heart.
My Review: The title of this novel is very apt, because after reading it, I truly feel as though I have a thorn in my heart regarding how I feel about the story. It’s based on the biblical story of Jacob and Esau, so the plot will be familiar to any who know that tale. As I haven’t read it before, the way the story unfolded was new to me, so I found it both frustrating and interesting to read.
I felt myself simultaneously liking and disliking most of the characters in the story, watching their actions and the consequences of said actions was extremely difficult for me to see. I mean, even though I haven’t read the story in which this is based, I still can see how foolish the decisions of each character are. It’s common sense!
With all that in mind, in the end, I still had a lot of affection for most of the characters, Leana and Jamie especially, and found tears in my eyes as I read the final few chapters. I will say one thing – Leana is a much stronger woman than I am, for I don’t think I could find it in my heart to forgive the way she does.
A story like this reminds me of how grateful I am to live in a more modern society where I have legitimate choices. I love to fantasize about living in one of these historical time periods, but reading about how women especially were at the mercy of the men in their lives, children forced to do what their fathers want, it makes me glad I don’t have to live that aspect of the life. I enjoy that I can choose to live as a single woman without having to tend to ailing parents or simply hanging around home because no man would have me. I am always sympathetic to our ancestors when I read a tale such as this.
While there are some slow parts in the middle, the action of the story kept me reading and the plot definitely kept me wondering what was going to happen next. I’m very pleased that this is the first novel in a series, as I very much want to see how things continue to unfold in this somewhat unconventional family.
Read this book if: You enjoy other novels by Liz Curtis Higgs, or just like historical fiction. Though this is more fiction than history, it’s still a decent story and I would love to hear what everyone else thinks of the tale!