This an enjoyable short novella about an American family who inherit a run-down castle and village in the Scottish highlands and being down on their luck decide to take on the job of renovating it. I enjoyed the book as it's very funny in places, has some interesting characters and a strong story line. It was very readable and I felt would have worked very well as a children's book. However, as an adult novel it felt underdone and unsatisfying. The characters, while interesting were a bit too stereotypical. I would have liked to see more of the wife and children's personalities, particularly how they change over the book. For example how did the daughter change from a classic, lazy teenager caring only about her phone and her nails to a rugby playing harridan? The ending is also very rapid with the transformation of the castle and the village completed seemingly without effort or any funding - there's a whole other story in there waiting to be told.
I think this could be a really funny full-sized novel with further development of plot and characters and I'd love to see more writing from this author. I can also see the story working really well as a TV series with episodes in there about the feud between the two villages, the American kids and their exploits in this strange place and the renovation of the village and castle.
I received this book via LibraryThing as a free member give-away in exchange for a review.
This is a really interesting little book. Four unconnected short stories, all unique and intriguing. All of them left me wanting to know more about the characters and their stories and any of them could have been the start of a novel.I eagerly look forward to reading future books form this author.
I received a free copy of this book from LibraryThing member giveaway.
This is the first book I have read in the Murray of Letho series. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading the earlier books. Set in Fife in the Regency period at the the time of the Napoleonic wars, the author conveys a good sense of the closeness and complexity of village life at this time in history.
At the start of the book, an unknown women is found dead, stabbed to death. The attempts of Murray and his father's old friend, Blair to solve the mystery of who she was and who killed her are carefully threaded through other storylines, resulting in a surprise denouement.
I was curious to know more of Murray who is not fully fleshed out in this book, but that may be because this is now the fourth book in the series and the focus is not so much on him but the characters in his household and village. No doubt reading the earlier books in the series will fill in those gaps. The book was well written and engrossing and I enjoyed the author's grasp of the historical details of life in Scotland in the early 19th century.