This book is the first in a series. I added it to my to-be-read list after reading, and enjoying, The Scottish Prisoner a few months ago. I’m very glad I did. I really liked this one, and have added the rest of the series to the list.
If you are a regular visitor to this blog, you’ll be aware that time travel is one of my favorite kinds of stories. And, this is a time travel tale. The story starts in 1946. Claire and her husband, Frank, have been posted at opposite ends of the earth during WWII, and now that the war is over, they are enjoying a bit of a second honeymoon in Scotland. Toward the end of their planned stay, Claire makes a solo trip to a stone dance where she stumbles through a thin spot in the space-time continuum and finds herself in the middle of a skirmish between some Scottish raiders and English redcoats.
It takes some time, but fairly quickly she discovers that this is no historical reenactment or movie shoot. She really is in 1743. She ends up being taken by the Scots back to their home, and must find a way to escape them and return to the dance where she hopes she can make her way back to her own time.
But fate intervenes, and in order to avoid being turned over to the British to be interrogated as a spy, she finds herself wed to Jaime Frasier, an outlaw and fine specimen of a man. Once wed, the Scots trust in her begins to increase, and her training as an army nurse puts her in great demand as a healer. Her attempts to help the sick and injured are not always looked upon in a friendly manner, though, and before long she finds herself accused of witchcraft.
She is rescued at the last moment, and finally breaks down and tells Jamie that she has come from the future, and has a husband and a life there. While obviously skeptical, Jamie takes her back to the dance. And, while there, witnesses things that convince him her story is true. He loves her enough to allow her to return through the time rift to her life in 1946, but is not strong enough to watch it happen. He leaves her standing before the stone.
And there she stands, unable to take the final step through the rift. She realizes that she is too much in love with Jamie to leave him, and chooses to remain in 1743, despite the lack of indoor plumbing.
Together, Claire and Jamie have further adventures as they attempt to avoid the British, who have condemned Jamie to hang, and try to find a place where they can live and love.
This is a very long book. The original hardcover edition was 688 pages long. It took a while to read it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t wait to get to Dragonfly in Amber, the second book in the series.