But for Freedom; Across the Sea Beyond Skye: by Elizabeth Rodger
But for Freedom; Across the Sea Beyond Skye by Elizabeth
Published: May 2011
Genre: Historical Fiction, Scottish / American Historical Fiction
Available: ebook, paperback
The Plot in brief: The story follows the plight of the McKenzie Family, Donald, Morag and their children in the
of Culloden in 1746. This decisive battle aftermath of the Battle was between Jacobite Highland forces loyal to Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Stuart Pretender and those who supported King George I. The Highlanders fought and in retribution were routed the glens of their inhabitants. The McKenzie family decide were emptied to abandon Scotland and immigrate to Virginia. their only hope is
The Characters: The main characters of the story are the McKenzie family with emphasis on Donald, his wife Morag and their eldest son Robbie. They
as a loving, hardworking and god fearing family. Other characters either help or hinder the are sympathetically portrayed in their quest for economic stability and include African slaves, Native Americans, fellow Scottish immigrants and the occasional Virginian. Some are predictable in their actions and some crossover into caricatures which I found a bit off-putting. This was especially true of the Native American character and some slaves. McKenzies
The History: It is clear the author has done her homework and done it well. The historical setting rings true from the lifestyle, food, clothing, habitation to cultural and religious customs of the day. I enjoyed the description of the mountains of the Highland Glens, as the McKenzie's flee the wrath of the soldiers. The hideous sea crossing is
eye opening and makes me wonder how anyone survived. I also enjoyed the depiction of life in 18th century Williamsburg, Virginia. Although familiar with indentured servitude, it was very interest to read about the process once the individual landed in Virginia; I had no idea how the process worked and found it enlightening.
I did not spot a single thing that sounded out of place. Well done.
The Writing: The book
in 3rd person, past tense with multiple POVs. I'm not a fan of head jumping within a chapter which happens here, but it wasn't too distracting as the author makes clear who is controlling the narration is written . The book at any given time with very few typos. is well edited At times t pace is slow, and I he ahead to see if something more interesting was coming around the corner. found myself peeking
an issue with the dialogue which is all written in the did have vernacular . The Scottish speech is difficult to read at first and once I got the hang of it I still found it irritating. of the day African slaves have their own speech style as does the Native American. Of course, the
Overall: Overall, I enjoyed But for Freedom: Across the Sea Beyond Sky. I thought the historical aspect highly interesting and kept me reading when otherwise I might have put the book down. I appreciate the amount of research that went into the story and it always a bonus when I learn something new, which I did! The author did an excellent job of immersing her readers into the setting.
I look forward to reading and reviewing Book 2 of the series: But For Freedom: A Rebellious Echo of the White Cockade, which follows the
through the American Revolution. McKenzies
Recommendations: I would recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction, especially those who enjoy Scottish or Colonial American history.
I give this book: 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
1 Star: Not good at all, do not read!
2 Stars: Read only as a last resort, no other books available
3 Stars: Good, enjoyed it, will recommend with reservations
, read this book! Really good
5 Stars: So good, I might read it again sometime! Highly recommend.