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Posted October 16, 2009
"Katie Cameron", the author's second novel is a historical romance, the story of a girl born in Inverness, Scotland in 1845 to a Scottish father and French American mother. Shortly after the untimely death of her much loved father, Katie is taken by her mother, Isabelle, to live with close relatives in her native Louisiana just before the outbreak of the Civil War there in 1861.
The fast moving tale details the many trials and tribulations faced by this young and vulnerable woman during a thirteen year period in America, in the south, notably in New Orleans and latterly in the north in Boston. It narrates the joys and anguishes of her relationships with the dashing Clark Boyd and with Frank Dempster, both of them Army officers but one with the Confederacy and the other with the Union. Love, marriage and motherhood are all deeply affected by the four year war which the author has researched assiduously and through visits to the area.
Whilst life for Katie Cameron settles down significantly after her decision to return to Scotland and Inverness with her young son, Brett, it remains far from smooth. She is destined to meet the kind Doctor Robert Taylor but there are episodes of passion and pathos still inextricably linked with her former life in America as the story approaches its conclusion.
Fiona McDonald's style and language is short and sharp. giving this quick and easy read an almost journalistic feel, unusual in a romantic novel. The true underlying nature of the characters is left largely to the reader's imagination, making it seem as if the book is in fact a film. The author affirms that her writing is often inspired by seeing the characters as if in screenplay. This sometimes means that, particularly during battle scenes and their aftermath, the action moves rapidly from character to character and situation to unrelated situation in short, quickfire and successive paragraphs. However, the story never fails to hold the reader's interest in a sound and gripping story. There is a useful appendix detailing the main events of the Civil War
The author's first novel, "Gunfire", a western, was published in 2003.