There are many who believe they know what happened, but they do not know the whole of it. The rumours spread, and grow, and take their hold, and so to end them I have been persuaded now to take my pen in hand and tell the story as it should be told…
Autumn, 1707. Old enemies from the Highlands to the Borders are finding common ground as they join to protest the new Union with England, the French are preparing to launch an invasion to carry the young exiled Jacobite king back to Scotland to reclaim his throne, and in Edinburgh the streets are filled with discontent and danger.
Queen Anne’s commissioners, seeking to calm the situation, have begun settling the losses and wages owed to those Scots who took part in the disastrous Darien expedition eight years earlier.
When Lily, the young widow of a Darien sailor, comes forward to collect her husband’s wages, her claim is challenged, and one of the men who’s assigned to examine her has only days to decide if she’s honest, or if his own feelings are making him blind to the truth, and if he’s being used as a pawn in an even more treacherous game.
***Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided.
DNF @ 20%
I’m bored. The narrative keeps flashing back and forth too quickly to create a connection with the characters. And the protagonist keeps breaking the fourth wall to explain why he’s explaining things in a certain way. I was intrigued to read something set primarily in the early 1700s, but the writing style seems to be attempting to mimic the writing style of the time in a way that is too close to capture and maintain interest but too far off to be authentic. With too many clumsy attempts at foreshadowing and minimal progression, I can’t see it going anywhere I’d be interested in sticking around to see.