I recently finished a lovely novel set in Scotland titled Swept Off Her Feet by best selling novelist Hester Browne. This book feels to me like a combination of a Jane Austen epic with Sophie Kinsella humor. You can read about Hester Browne and her other fabulous novels here.
The premise of the novel has Evie, an assistant in an antiques shop, go to Scotland to find potential valuables in an old Scottish castle. Of course, the castle has unique characters who inherited it, snobbish neighbors with a good looking son and the quintessential handsome heir. Evie is quite the character unto herself. On page 1, “My name is Evie Nicholson, and I am addicted to The Past.” For Evie, antiques are not objects.
“Antiques for me were all about the lives they’d once been part of. I loved the whispers of the past they carried, the proof that those period films had once been real life.”
Browne intersperses the plot with some downright funny humor. Regarding a coat that Evie’s boss always wore, “He’d had it so long that on a pay-per-wear basis, it now owed him money.”
Regarding Evie’s sister and mothers’ immaculate homes, “Both their houses looked like somthing from interiors magazines, even if-privately- I did think the extreme tidiness was a bit At Home With a Serial Killer.”
You cannot help but love Evie as she clumsily traipses through the castle and quickly imbeds herself in their lives. Browne does a masterful job of making the reader “know” Evie’s mother and sister even though they really are not in the story.
Evie ends up filling in at the ball at the end of the book with the expected storybook ending. Overall, this is a lovely book, an easy read and a happy story. We all need happy stories in old Scottish castles!
Simon and Schuster provided a review copy of this book for this post. All opinions are my own.
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