Ballindaloch Castle background

Great new reviews

04-12-2011 1 comment

“The book is a good interesting solid read and pulls your interest along with the changing timescales and characters. They are well constructed and you find that you care about their lives and difficulties.

The structure is good, clear and carefully worked out. The tension at the end of the book and the tensions between Cathy and David heightened the interest and leads naturally on to wanting to know more. Billy is a good foil traditional dour Scot to Cathy’s brash American “can-do” bravado. So, the many angles at the end makes for an exciting read.

The main characters are well rounded, e.g. Alexander, in particular his relationship with Katherine. Cathy at a crossroads in her life and her “possession” by the undercurrents and tensions in the castle are particularly well written. Cathy, brittle so sensitive to otherness comes across well.

The book flows well and in all a good enjoyable read.”

Marjory Marshall, owner of the Bookmark Bookshop, Grantown-on-Spey

“A thoroughly good read. The story struck a perfect balance of history, intrigue and mystery, keeping me interested and turning the pages well past my bedtime.

The characters were brought to life through their personalities and I had genuine feelings about each of them.

The details and descriptions of the places where the story takes place were so good, they were also brought to life for me, and although I have never visited them, (I want to now though), I felt they were made feel familiar and I think were I to visit, I would feel I had been there already.

The switches between past and present were seamless and very clever – as a lover of historical and modern-day stories I was given the best of both worlds.”

Libby Banyard, Dunfermline

“When I read about your book in the local paper (Strathspey and Badenoch Herald) I immediately put in an order with Amazon. – I was not disappointed. The book arrived Friday and with no chance to open it over a hectic weekend I started it yesterday and finished it today. Last night was late night shopping in Grantown-on-Spey for switching on the Christmas lights so I popped in to the Bookmark to have a chat with Marjory and share some ginger wine. I apologised for not buying the book through her but will definitely get the sequel here. When is it coming out? Most of my reading is mystery/police/forensic but I also enjoy researching my family tree so enjoyed an opportunity to have that included. I shall definitely recommend the book locally – I really enjoyed it – thank you.”

Mrs Alex Bodman, Grantown-on-Spey

“I finished the book at about 1 AM on the Nov. 16… after I got home that day I couldn’t put it down.  It’s the first time in a decade that I’ve been so absorbed in a book.

The entire story had a “symmetry” which I thoroughly enjoyed – stories within stories with relationships that only became clear as the story progressed.  The characters were great (I especially like “Uncle T”), and I was intrigued by  the “experience” of 19/20th century life in Scotland and Boston.  The attention to detail (historical and whiskey-related) gave additional depth to the characters and their experience.

A few highlights:
- The “Pre-Prologue” was an unexpected twist; I knew that there was some aspect of Catherine’s relationship to the MacPherson’s and David that was missing, but I didn’t foresee the adoption of Katherine’s child by John.
- The description of Ellis Island was very good, and something that has direct relevance to my family history – in 1907, my Grandmother’s sister was sent back to Polandbecause of an eye infection (her mother went with her and died before she could return to the US).
- I’ve always wondered what it’s like for families to live in a home/tourist attraction (I used to live in Charleston, South Carolina where there are a number of old mansions).  I laughed out loud (unfortunate at 11 PM, with my wife sleeping next to me) when Maggie was speaking with Catherine and sat in a chair labeled “DO NOT TOUCH” for the tourists.

I’d like to thank you for a great book!  Now, when’s the next one :)

Jeff Pinkler


1 comment

  1. Ernie Wastell 29 december 2011 | 18:31

    What a superb first novel. The pace and content are excellent and the toing and froing from one time period to another ensures that you keep track of a thoroughly engrossing story as it moves from ‘then’ to ‘now and back again.

    The presence of house guests meant that I could not submerge myself in the book without being thought a very poor host but I still got through it in two sessions and added it to both my son’s and my daughter’s Christmas gifts.

    A thoroughly enjoyable experience which left me feeling good. Look forward to the sequel


Place a comment

Your email address is safe and will not be published. Required fields are marked by a *