Thursday, August 25, 2011
Review: High on a Mountain by Tommie Lyn
High on a Mountain is a historical novel not only of Scotland but of the roots and beginnings of the Scottish American community. Millions of us in the US grew from these roots, and yet, they are too little understood and known.
First, I'll just say as someone who is incredibly picky about historicity in historical novels that Tommie Lyn did an excellent job of historical research for this novel. Set in the early 1700s just beginning just before the Jacobite uprisings, through the destruction of the Highland culture, and the flight to freedom in the US, this is an amazing story.
First in the Highlands of Scotland and in those terrible days ripped from home to be transplanted to America, she tells the story of Ailean MacLachlainn. On his father's Highland croft, he had always longed for adventure, of being a great warrior, until he got it in full measure in battle and the aftermath. Hunted by an enemy, trying to save his family, trying to survive in a hostile land, Ailean has lost everything, except his determination and his stubborn Scottish pride. Even his country is lost to him in his flight to America. There is only the ability to struggle on, for the past was gone, never to be regained. Yet, Ailean had the courage and endurance to seize his new life and claim it, even though it was a hard life, never whining.
The prose is smooth and solid and the dialogue very believable. Some might find the extensive use of Scots difficult but the author includes an extensive glossary. Anyone who wants to understand the Scottish roots of so many in the US will find this a thoroughly satisfying read. Or just read it for a good story.
I must admit I am not fond of the cover which does not well represent what a very good novel this is. Do give it a look if you enjoy historical novels either about Scotland or the early settlers in American and the real reasons so many of them came.
You can sample or buy High on a Mountain in various formats at Smashwords or for Kindle at Amazon.