Jessica Stirling, Author . St. Martin's $26.95 (480p) ISBN 978-0-312-28870-9

Glasgow-born Stirling (Prized Possessions) brings Edwardian Scotland to life in this compelling coming-of-age tale. Eighteen-year-old Lindsay Franklin gets an unexpected jolt when her shipbuilding magnate grandfather gives her a share of the family business. At the same time, her all-too-charming Irish cousin, the womanizing Forbes McCulloch, comes to Glasgow to learn the family business from the bottom up and sets his sights on marrying Lindsay. The style and design of the cover give the impression that this is a historical romance, but the tale is much more than a formulaic love story. Stirling does a bang-up job of illustrating how character shapes a person's life. Forbes, a conniving, self-centered rogue with a mistress on the side and an overpowering sense of entitlement, is a perfect example of how lack of honor can destroy a life. Lindsay, on the other hand, is clearly meant to embody integrity in this complex story full of passion, true love, loyalty, betrayal and revenge. As Lindsay matures and comes to see her husband for what he is, the author adeptly unearths Lindsay's fundamental traits and motivations. Throughout, Stirling explores family dynamics among the proud Franklins and the despairing McCullochs, showing remarkable insight into the different manifestations of human nature. She also provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the development of early wartime submarines, adding historic punch to this tale about the triumph of honor over greed. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/11/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7540-0470-7
Compact Disc - 978-0-7540-5374-3
Open Ebook - 480 pages - 978-1-4668-6972-1
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