Dunnottarby Janet Elaine Smith
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Dunnottar Castle, Scotland, the domain of the Clan Keith, close consorts of the royal family for many generations. The whole country is at war with itself: Scotland against England. William Keith, the patriarch, is the wealthiest man in Scotland, but he desires only to be known as the kindest; John, his younger brother, is eager to fight for his country, even if his motives are a little questionable; and Robert, William's oldest son, is off to battle, but his mother's only hope is that he finds a wife in the process. Even the most seemingly righteous families have some deep, dark hidden secrets. The Keith clan is no exception; some of them so deep and dark even the other Keiths don't know they exist. But they are privy to secrets of King Charles II himself.
Meet the Author
Janet Elaine Smith became known as a magazine writer but her true love was her novels. “Dunnottar” was her first novel and it soon became the No. 1 Bestselling Scottish novel on Amazon for almost three months. Smith moved from Grand Forks, North Dakota after her husband of forty-two years, Ivan, died to northeast Wisconsin. They spent nine years as missionaries in Venezuela then ran a charitable "Helps" mission in Grand Forks for over thirty-five years. “Dunnottar,” like some of her other novels, is based on her genealogical searches. She has published seventeen additional novels and says she is living her life's dream.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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The underlying theme, the connecting thread, of Dunnotar is the power of love, decency, loyalty. Dunnotar is a fortress, the home of the Keith clan in Scotland. The times are tumultuous: the rule and fall of Charles 1, and at the end of the book, the return of Charles 2. The first part of Dunnotar is based on an ethical dilemma: how do you react to feeling deep loyalty to both sides of a bitter disagreement? Members of the house of Keith feel friendship, loyalty and sympathy for King Charles, but equally, they completely reject his intention of imposing the Roman Catholic faith on Scotland. Once they have committed themselves to one side, they are loyal to the bitter end. Most of the book is actually about the lives and loves of the three Keith men: William, his brother John and son Robert. The historical events are more a framing for this than a focus. Janet Elaine Smith hones in on the personal, the emotional, the yearnings and fears of people rather than on the action. I found it disappointing that the last part of the story, from 1644 on, departs from this pattern, and instead we rapidly race through a series of little vignettes that report events without giving the reader the chance to be involved in the reactions of the people of the story. However, if you like history, and if you are a romantic at heart, you will enjoy this book.