Hello! I’m back today with another piece of historical fiction. If you enjoyed the Gaelic vein of The Story Collector, I think you are in for a treat again with this one.
Girl in the Castle by Lizzie Lamb is set in the Scottish Highlands. It centres around Dr Henriette Bruar who needs a place to lie low following an incident that has left her academic career in tatters. She finds herself in a remote Scottish castle, home to the McKenzie family, where she has been commissioned to catalogue their library. Henri is keen to get on with her job – that is until she meets handsome Keir MacKenzie. What happens next? All I can say is: mystery, treasure, a ghostly piper and a vivid set of characters.
Based on comments I’ve received in the past on previous reviews, I want to make one thing clear from the start: this book should not be judged by its cover. To be honest, and no offence to the person who created it, I would not pick up this book based on the cover. I’m glad the lovely team over at Love Books Group Tours sent me a copy because I would have missed out on something special.
Girl in the Castle translates the eeriness of the castle and the Highlands very well, so much so that the opening chapters had me feeling uneasy. The element of mystery is further heightened throughout the story but for me, it is at its peak as the reader is introduced to the McKenzie household, including Henri Bruar. I really wanted to know who these people were, what was their story and what would ultimately be the outcome.
There are many insufferable characters in this book. That doesn’t mean that they took away from the story (they actually added to it), more that I am glad I don’t know them in real life. Henri, for me, was immediately likeable. I also appreciated that she was a career woman with ambition and passion. Keir and Alice joined my list of likeable characters soon into the story and I enjoyed how the three together unravelled family secrets and played a vital role in keeping the reader intrigued.
There are two other elements within Girl in the Castle that I found Lizzie Lamb did very well. One was the vivid description she presents of Scotland. I’ve never visited the country and only every had Edinburgh in mind but she showed there is so much more to discover there. I also liked how she successfully intertwined historical fiction within the modern day. So, if you are someone unsure of historical fiction but would like to give it a try, this is a good place to start.
Since reading Girl in the Castle, I’ve learned that Lizzie Lamb has written many other books. The book nerd in me rejoices!
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you very much for reading and reviewing Girl in the Castle- although I write contemporary fiction I love history and Scotland, as you will see from my other books. In fact I’m in Scotland at the moment researching for future novels. Thank you for the feedback on the front cover, I take your comments on board. I am thinking of having all my covers redesigned at some point.
You are very welcome. I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for your next Scottish adventures!
I’ve never heard of this one, but it sounds pretty interesting. I think I may have to give it a try after your amazing review!
Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy it.
I haven’t heard of this one but I love historical fiction x
I think you will enjoy this one so. I’ve another great historical fiction review coming this week so keep your eyes peeled 🙂
Lizzie is a fabulous writer.
Yes! I really need to read more of her work.
I loved Lizzie’s last book, too – ‘Scotch on the Rocks’.
I have read it but I’ll add it to my list!
I love the sound of mystery and a ghostly piper haha! I also don’t mind insufferable characters as long as they’re not ALL like it. Sometimes it adds more to the story when not all the characters are likeable xxx
I totally agree! It’s too fake when all the characters are perfect.
I’ve read all Lizzie’s books so far and this one is my favourite – as she already knows! I, too, love the combination of mysterious castle and history along with more modern life and very interesting characters.
Which other could you recommend?