The death of clan patriarch Macgregor Tulloch has thrown the tiny Shetland Islands community of Whales Reef into turmoil. Everyone assumed Tulloch's heir to be his much-loved grandnephew David. But when no will is discovered, David's calculating cousin Hardy submits his own claim to the inheritance, an estate that controls most of the island's land. And Hardy knows a North Sea oil investor who will pay dearly for that control.
While the competing claims are investigated, the courts have frozen the estate's assets, leaving many of the locals in dire financial straits. The future of the island---and its traditional way of life---hangs in the balance.
Meanwhile, Loni Ford enjoys a rising career in a large investment firm in Washington, D.C. Yet, in spite of outward success, she is privately plagued by questions of identity. Orphaned as a young child, she was raised by her grandparents, and while she loves them dearly, she feels completely detached from her roots. That is, until a mysterious letter arrives from a Scottish solicitor. . . .
Past and present collide in master storyteller Michael Phillips' dramatic new saga of loss and discovery, of grasping and grace.
I have not read a Michael Phillips book for years, and thought this one sounded interesting when it came up for review. The book was a little difficult getting into at first. It moved slowly and bounced around between several people a lot, but once the author got past the beginning of the book; it took off and got my attention.
Through fiction, this novel offers a fascinating look at Scotland and the whole lord and chief process and what those entail. The book is full of colorful descriptions of the land of Scotland, the people, and their traditions and talk. At times I wasn't sure what the dialogue was saying for sure when he used the Scottish brogue, but it was still a fascinating and exciting read.
Phillips came up with some great characters for his book, especially the two main characters:
David, who seemed a shoo-in for taking over as chief and cares about the island and its people, only to find his ruthless cousin trying to get it.
Loni: An American orphaned as a child trying to find her way, and then her life takes an unexpected turn with a letter from Scotland.
Once I got past the start of the book, I found this book hard to put down. It is not a mystery/suspense novel, yet is a very suspenseful read in the fact that the reader wants to know what is going to happen: Will David become chief and save the island and its people, or will Hardy win and sell everything out from under the people? And what role does this American woman have in it?
My one complaint about the book is the ending. This may be a bit of a spoiler, but it ends without resolving the issues..... which makes me want the next book now....... but it will be several months before it is over. I still recommend the book, it is a wonderful novel worth reading and hard to put down.
I was given a copy of this book for my honest review.
About the author:
Michael Phillips is a bestselling author who has penned more than seventy books, both fiction and nonfiction. In addition, he has served as editor/redactor of nearly thirty more books. Over the past thirty years, his persistent efforts have helped reawaken interest in the writings of nineteenth century Scotsman George MacDonald. Michael and his wife, Judy, spend time each year in Scotland, but make their home near Sacramento, California.
The Inheritance, book one in The Secrets of the Shetlands series, is available from Bethany House Publishers.
Thanks to Litfuse for the review copy.
Enter to in a copy of The Inheritance here.