Once again Linda Gillard provides us with an appealing older (age 42) protagonist who, despite her “geriatric” status, is still capable of love and even sex! Moreover, there is a choice of handsome heroes – one of whom is a ghost – and there is the wonderful setting of the Isle of Skye in Scotland.
As Linda does in her earlier books, she creates characters who are believably flawed and skillfully nuanced. Moreover, in this book, we gain intimate knowledge of the heroine’s thought processes by the use of first person narration.
Ruth is suffering from multiple personal losses in her life, and she is bereaved – indeed, somewhat shell-shocked – and lonely. She moves into her late Aunt Janet’s old Victorian house on the Isle of Skye and makes a number of important discoveries. One is that there is a very handsome and eligible gardener working on the property. Another is that the house is haunted by a ghost who is himself haunted by the harrowing way in which he died in WWI, and by the unfinished business he left behind. And finally, Ruth discovers from her correspondence with a Canadian musicologist who is interested in Aunt Janet’s music that Janet was a woman of secrets successfully kept hidden her whole life.
The intersection of all of these characters and the revelations about them create life-changing epiphanies for all of them.
Evaluation: This is a romance with some very appealing differences: a protagonist who is not a teenager (and who thus deals with themes more appropriate to an older cohort); well-researched background material; and the piquancy of a charming and valiant ghost to add spice to the proceedings.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2012