Saturday, July 16, 2011

Review: A Scottish Ferry Tale

A Scottish Ferry Tale
By Nancy Volkers

First published: 2009
Series: Scottish Ferry Tale #1

Read: 15 - 18 June 2011

Amazon description
Newly single Cassie Wrentham spends a long weekend in Scotland with frightening-looking cows, difficult cats and friendly, stubborn Scots. One attracts her immediately, and the feeling is mutual. But Cassie is ruled by her head, not her heart; she can't even read a fairy tale without rolling her eyes and picking the plot apart. She won't fall for the love-at-first-sight thing – or will she?

Delightful and uplifting

I typically don't read a lot of romance novels, because frankly, most of them bore me. But after reading Alice's review over at Girls Just Read I thought this particular one sonded good, so I picked it up. And I'm so glad I did, because A Scottish Ferry Tale turned out to be a delightful and heart-warming story.

The description above makes the book sound a bit bland, which is sad because it is anything but. I would write my own description if I had the skills to summarize a story in an accurate and witty way, but I think the author's comment on Goodreads does a better job:

"If you're looking for historical fiction, deep analysis, bodice-ripping romance, or vampires, you won't find it here. You do get a stubborn, over-analytic woman; an unusually sensitive, direct man (...), a very large dog, a couple of boat rides, some fairy tale analysis (have you ever wondered why Snow White is compelled to commit breaking and entering to *clean someone else's house*?), and a bit of love. Oh, and chocolate cake."

Even though Cassie and I are completely different, I found it very easy to relate to and empathize with her. She is the kind of person I wish I could be (or rather had been when I was her age). Sure, there were times when her choices frustrated me and I wanted to smack her over the head for being such a fool, but I'd like to do that to my best friend sometimes too. And Ralph, the sturdy, charming Scotsman who sweeps her off her feet is just perfect. 

The writing is fluent and beautiful, and often funny: 
"He laughed, that deep, joyous, genuine laugh, and a little voice inside me said Uh Oh. This Is Someone You Can't Not Pay Attention To. (Yeah, the little voice had bad grammar and akward sentence structure sometimes. But it was often right.)" 

And then there are passages that are just so true:
"Here's what I think," she said. "You love him. The two of you are amazing together. And that scares you. You are sure that because it's so good, something will go wrong, and instead of enjoying it, you're on guard, waiting for the bad thing to happen."

Not to mention the paragraph about how a flock of sheep lying in the middle of the road behave when a car comes along – spot on! I guess sheep behave in the same way no matter what country you are in. 

The setting is just magical, and having just come back from a week in Scotland before reading the novel, I had no trouble imagining the scenery. In fact, it made me want to go back again and look for my own happy ending. 

A Scottish Ferry Tale is a gem of a novel that you don't want to miss; it's charming, hopeful, and funny and it made me happy.

My rating:

Note: The sequel, called Starlight in Scotland (don't you just love these titles?), was published earlier this year.

1 comment:

NV said...

Thank you for the wonderful review! :-) I agree that the back-cover blurb is kind of bland... I am considering altering it, as you're not the first person who's noticed that!

The sequel, Scotland by Starlight, was published in January. I welcome comments on both books to nvwrites AT gmail DOT com -- always love to know what people think!

Thanks again!

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