The Prodigal Son (The Graham Saga 3) by Anna Belfrage
Safely returned from an involuntary stay on a plantation in Virginia, Matthew Graham finds the Scottish Lowlands torn asunder by religious strife. His Restored Majesty, Charles II, requires all his subjects to swear fealty to him and the Church of England, riding roughshod over any opposition.
In Ayrshire, people close ranks around their evicted Presbyterian ministers. But disobedience comes at a heavy price and Alex becomes increasingly more nervous as to what her Matthew is risking by his support of the clandestine ministers – foremost amongst them the charismatic Sandy Peden.
Privately, Alex considers Sandy an enervating fanatic and all this religious fervour is totally incomprehensible to her. So when Matthew repeatedly sets his faith and ministers before his own safety he puts their marriage under severe strain.
The situation is further complicated by the presence of Ian, the son Matthew was cruelly duped into disowning several years ago. Now Matthew wants Ian back and Alex isn’t entirely sure this is a good thing.
Things are brought to a head when Matthew places all their lives in the balance to save his dear preacher from the dragoons.
How much is Matthew willing to risk? How much will he ultimately lose? (publisher)
The book starts where the last one ended; Matthew is back from Virginia after his wife Alex saved him. Religious situation in Scotland is escalating and Matthew finds it hard choosing between his belief and his family. It puts him at odds with his wife and causes some trouble in their lives.
In this book Alex and Matthew spends the whole book together and it was nice to see more of their day-to-day life. In the previous books has been rescuing, long separations and the like while in this book they have time to have quarrels and problems in their marriage too. Made it feel more like a “real marriage”.
In the previous books there’s been chapters with persons from Alex’s old life but there wasn’t any in this. I don’t know if that’s because she’s settled more firmly in the 17th century and has kind of let go of the past?
Majority of the book deals with religious situation in Scotland and while I’m not very familiar with the subject it didn’t bore me down. At times I wanted to punch Matthew so hard because he can be so idiot and stubborn! But it shows the different look on religion in the past.
I was so happy to see that Alex has started to warm towards Ian. Poor boy! But hopefully things start to look better for him. The conflict between Matthew and his brother Luke is there but not so prominently as in the previous books.
I’ve really enjoyed this serie so far and I look forward seeing what happens in the future for them!
Published: Matador (2013)
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
About the Author
I was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result I’m multilingual and most of my reading is historical – both non-fiction and fiction.
I was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Instead I ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for my most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career I raised my four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive … Nowadays I spend most of my spare time at my writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and I slip away into my imaginary world, with my imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in my life pops his head in to ensure I’m still there. I like that – just as I like how he makes me laugh so often I’ll probably live to well over a hundred.
I was always going to be a writer. Now I am – I have achieved my dream.
For more information, please visit Anna Belfrage’s WEBSITE.