Title: The Cottage
Author: Michael Phillips
Publisher: Bethany House
“This hasn’t been just about inheriting the property. Your entire sense of who you are has been at stake,” David tells Loni in Michael Phillips’s novel, The Cottage.
~ What ~
Second in the Secrets of the Shetlands series, this four-hundred-and-sixteen-page paperback targets those who enjoy a fictional Christian story about the inheritance of Whales Reef, a small island in the Shetlands. Using slang words such as heck and dang, the topics of murder and death may not be appropriate for immature readers.
In this stand-alone historical tale, American Loni Ford has been informed she has inherited a cottage in the Shetland Islands. When she visits the old house far from her boyfriend and job in the States, she is bewildered when the entire land, buildings, and livestock are included. To be giving the title “laird” of the land, she meets David, the chief who is a distant cousin.
With another cousin fighting for the rights of the property, Loni questions what she wants in life and who she should be when she opens a locked door in the cottage that has been sealed for half a century. As a Texan and fisherman try taking over the inheritance, Loni and David fight for the residents of the beloved island.
~ Why ~
Including the history of generational legacies and heritage of the Shetlands, the book captures the beautiful landscape, climate, and people of the area while weaving a story of duty, loyalty, friendship, and love. Having Quaker ancestors, I appreciated the explanation of many of their beliefs, traditions, and conflicts.
~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like romantic historical fiction about lairds, chiefs, and family roots may pass on this one. Others may not be interested in its Christian content that includes discussions on the Quaker religion, legalism, experimentalism, and elitism. It does not express in detail the eternal plan of salvation.
~ Who ~
A best-selling author, Phillips has written over seventy books of fiction and non-fiction. Hoping his readers get closer to God through his writing, he lives in California with his wife.
~ Wish ~
Having read and loved one of the author’s prior books, I was excited to read this one, but I felt it was predictable with its near-perfect protagonists and several stereotypical villains. Loni’s relationship with her boyfriend and David seemed unrealistic when she did or did not communicate with them.
~ Want ~
If you like a current day romance, this one has a twist where the characters come from different backgrounds and social status five thousand miles apart yet have more than their heritage in common. It makes a good rainy day read with a cup of hot tea.
Thanks to Baker Publishing for this complimentary book that I am evaluating freely.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.