Tuesday, 8 January 2013

White Rose Rebel by Janet Paisley

Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 5th 2008 by Penguin (first published 2007)
ISBN 0141026790 (ISBN13: 9780141026794)

"Anne Farquharson is a Highland girl – tempestuous, bold, determined to be her own woman. Yet the clan Farquharson is threatened. The Highlands suffer at the domineering hand of English King George, while there are rumours that Bonnie Prince Charlie, exiled to France, is raising an army in a bid for the throne.

When Anne marries a clan chief and creates a shaky alliance, she is doing more than taking his bed. Soon she is drawn into the heart of a brutal and bloody conflict, and as the Jacobite rebellion escalates, she and her husband find themselves on opposite sides of the battlefield."

I read this while I was visiting Edinburgh in Scotland, what an amazing city, and it was great to get into the Scottish spirit with this! I must also add that I'm not at all biased that she is also an Anne - what a great name that is...

Anyway, this is great historical fiction! A good level of historical research has clearly been done but the story is well constructed to fill gaps in the historical evidence. The author creates characters that you really care about and she definitely made me want to learn more about Scottish history! Although she could have developed the relationship between Anne and her husband a little more at the beginning of the novel to make their interactions during the rebellion stronger.

Anne is a really interesting character and it's great to read about women (not just Anne's character) who made decisions for themselves and fought for what they believed in during this time, it's just a shame so much evidence about her life was destroyed during the course of time, or due to the patriarchal system, as the author argues.

I really enjoyed this book although it took me a while to really engage with the story and be drawn in to the world of the Jacobite rebellion. Therefore I think this deserves a 7 out of 10.

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