Book Review: A Bound Heart

91ZGKR1iA0LOkay. First off. I loved this book. Really loved it. Could-not-put-it-down status loved it. And second, if you’ve been seeing ads for Outlander all over your social media, but wondered if there was a book out there that had some of the same history, but maybe written for a different audience… THIS IS IT.

Though Magnus MacLeish and Lark MacDougall grew up on the same castle grounds, Magnus is now laird of the great house and the Isle of Kerrera. Lark is but the keeper of his bees and the woman he is hoping will provide a tincture that might help his ailing wife conceive and bear him an heir. But when his wife dies suddenly, Magnus and Lark find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of accusations, expelled from their beloved island, and sold as indentured servants across the Atlantic. Yet even when all hope seems dashed against the rocky coastline of the Virginia colony, it may be that in this New World the two of them could make a new beginning–together.

Laura Frantz’s prose sparkles with authenticity and deep feeling as she digs into her own family history to share this breathless tale of love, exile, and courage in Colonial America.

When I compare it to Outlander, mind you, I’m not referring to plot or time travel. A Bound Heart takes place shortly after Culloden and the rising of ’45 with references to the rising of ’15. It delves into the conditions imposed on the Scottish lands by the English as punishment for the rebellion. The outlawing of Tartan and the rise of smuggling due to poor conditions. All fascinating to read about. Not to mention Lark’s knowledge of herbs – which is what gets her in trouble as a barren woman can be a desperate woman, nevermind Lark’s reluctance.

316051_ABoundHeartFrantz_posts6And so the story carries into the life of indentures and slavery in pre-revolutionary America and the West Indies. It’s a slow burn tale as the two of them seek to create a family with the infant orphan entrusted to Lark’s care and a future for themselves, all the while being hemmed in by misfortune, distance, “seasonings” and indenture contacts. But I think you’ll be sucked into every minute of it. Frustrated, hopeful, heartbroken and longing for the happily ever after I promise will come (Yes, it’s one of those books, and you’ll love it).

Frantz paints a majestic picture of life in the mid 1700s – the clothing, the people and houses and landscapes. Rich history of the conditions of the time and fascinating anecdotes about children wearing stays and pudding caps. It’s all just so good and I can’t wait for you to get your hands on it in January!

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 I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

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