Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Review: Mairi Norris’ LANTERNS IN THE MIST – Terror Lurks in the Colony of Virginia
Set in Norfolk, Virginia in 1759-60, this is the story of Duncan MacCabe, a wealthy Scot shoemaker who wants a partner for his business and a wife. He gains a boon when he buys a wife at an auction who can do figures.
Susanna Cooper joined a bride ship headed for the Colony of Virginia because of her family’s dire straits. She got lucky when Duncan chose her for his wife and bought her contract, outbidding a horrible man who lurked in the shadows, a man who would seek revenge.
From the beginning, the newlyweds enjoy a warm relationship, in bed and out. Duncan seems the perfect man (though he came across as old when he was young). Susanna is kind, meticulous and conscientious, yet she is late to everything, which her husband, understandably, finds irritating.
The villain, a twisted nobleman of terrible perversions (including torture), is quite a contrast to the Colonists and their warm friendships. We are in his mind and see his infliction of pain on others. I have to confess, I skipped the graphic torture scenes.
The author has taken great pains to create the Colonial period in America’s history, down to the smallest details in entertainments, food, terms and speech. We experience the Colonists’ commitment to each other and their rising discontent with England’s taxes and ill treatment. The seeds of the Revolution have clearly been sewn.
It’s a sometimes dark, well written historical romance with authentic history and a sweet love story where all comes right in the end.