Wednesday, December 17, 2014
TBR Day. To Scotland with Love / Patience Griffin. 2014
To Scotland with Love is Patience Griffin's debut book. And it's the first book in her "Kilts and Quilts" series. Quilts! Quilts! ..... Oh, what's that? The theme this month is the holidays? Never fear! While the grass is green on the cover, the first two-thirds of the book take place in the days and weeks leading up to Christmas and it ends a few weeks after Easter. Lots of holiday stuff within. And quilts.
Cait Macleod moved to Chicago from Scotland with her parents when she was 13. A short time after that, Cait's mother died of cancer. Cait grew up, began a career as an investigative journalist, but gave it up to marry her husband, Tom. He turns out to be a serial cheater and dies in the middle of sex with another woman. I assume Cait's father is also dead because Cait decides to sell everything she owns and move back to her home town in Scotland where her only remaining relative lives, her maternal grandmother, Deydie. Cait and Deydie haven't had much contact with one another over the years. Deydie is angry that Cait's father took his wife/her daughter away and that she died far from home. Cait hasn't wanted to admit that her marriage has been a spectacular failure, so she has avoided talking to her grandmother. But Chicago holds nothing but bad memories and Cait needs to start over. Why not go home?
On her first night back she runs into Graham Buchanan, a major movie star. Graham is known for keeping his personal life very private and he often disappears for weeks at a time. No one knows where he goes. When Cait runs into him, she realizes that her hometown is also his hometown and she may have stumbled upon the scoop of a lifetime, something that would surely jump-start her career again.
Cait's reunion with her grandmother does not go well, and it's Graham who acts as a bit of a buffer between the two. Also acting as a buffer are the ladies of the village who gather at Deydie's every week to quilt together. Cait remembers quilting with her mother and grandmother, and in fact has also become a quilter. She immediately joins the ladies and their sewing projects. Soon Cait is getting to know the people in the village again, and getting to know Graham much better. She postpones her plans to out Graham's whereabouts, especially as she begins to develop feelings for him.
This book is not at all an inspie, but it does deal with Christian themes as Christmas day approaches. Cait is angry at men, angry at God, and finding it hard to enter into the required religious activities given her feelings. I thought Cait's attitude toward the old rituals was rather realistic given her past. I liked that the book even dealt with that aspect of Cait's feelings.
One thing I found hard to believe was that in this day of TMZ, no one on the planet knew where Graham disappeared to when he wasn't working. Sure, the villagers vow to keep his secret, but I wasn't buying that no one was telling. Graham has his reasons for keeping his home secret and they make him an interesting character. The sparring between him and Cait was funny in spots.
All in all, this was an enjoyable debut and even without the quilts I would probably read the next book. But since there are quilts, I will definitely read the next one which is due in early January.