Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Book Review: The Stonewycke Trilogy by Michael R. Phillips & Judith Pella
The trilogy consists of the three novels: The Heather Hills of Stonewycke, Flight from Stonewycke and The Lady of Stonewycke. It charts three generations of a Scottish aristocratic family, with Maggie - the middle generation, being the cohesive glue to the story.
I found the first book was a little slow to start, and it wasn't until about half way I reached that point where I was hungry to keep reading it. This first installment emphasises the deep connection Maggie has with her native Scotland, and spends a lot of time developing the characters and revealing the causes of their emotional scars. When Maggie finally finds love, the circumstances trying to thwart their happiness had me turning pages as quickly as I could. Once I reached the end of The Heather Hills of Stonewycke, there wasn't a moment to lose in continuing onto the next book!
The second book, Flight from Stonewycke, the characters are divided between Scotland and America. It's primary goal is to undo the indecencies thrust upon Maggie and her love from the first book. I felt their pain throughout the book, and was desperate for a resolution to their problems. However I have to admit I was hopping mad when I reached the end of the book as I was beginning to wonder if there would be any sort of satisfaction in the trilogy's ending. I was tempted not to read on in case my fears were confirmed, but my curiousity was too strong and I didn't pause for very long before continuing onto the final book.
Thankfully I was not disappointed. The Lady of Stonewycke cleverly tied up all the lose ends, and I was pleased to discover that many new characters that cropped up where ghosts of the past - or where connected to them. Everything is righted in the end, there is a happy ending and I couldn't help but think I would like to read a continuing story. Wasn't I surprised and pleased to discover that there was another trilogy installment written to follow this up!
I thought the authors were a little optimistic in portraying pretty much everyone finding peace with themselves and God, but maybe that's because I have a tendency to be skeptical about the nature of man! The three books don't stand up well as individual novels, but together the story is sweet and enjoyable and I easily found myself transported to the period in which it was written. I am definitely putting the follow up trilogy on my "to read" list.