Book Review: Scotland by Starlight by Nancy Volkers

Synopsis: Cassie Wrentham has decided to move to Scotland to live with Ralph Macnair, no longer satisfied with a long-distance relationship, but things don’t go exactly as she planned. Cassie can’t seem to find a job no matter how hard she tries while Ralph works more than ever, and the tension is getting to them both.  Just when things are starting to look up, illness and mortality and distrust must be faced.  Will Cassie and Ralph ever make it to the alter?

The Product: The cover art is similar in style to A Scottish Ferry Tale, down to the font and the layout, only changing the photo and the colour scheme.  The paper stock is in a higher quality, being both a purer white and smoother in texture. The formatting of each chapter was a little more aesthetically pleasing, with interesting chapter headings. The interior text was in a font that was less like a typewriter and thus easier on the eyes.

Writing Style: This sequel was crafted in a way that was even better than the first, and allowed the reader to be carried away with the tale.  Though I found the inclusion of story telling to be a trifle awkward, the stories were interesting.

Plot: The story seems less emotionally complicated than its predecessor, as though Cassie and Ralph worked through most of their relationship difficulties in the previous book.  This novel felt more like connected vignettes of their relationship and the people they interact with in their daily lives.

Location: This story mostly takes place in Glasgow, where Ralph lives, but does make forays into London, England, and also to the island of Cull, where Ralph and Cassie first met.

Point of View: The majority of the novel was written in first person from Cassie’s viewpoint, only transferring over to Rafe’s perspective later in the book.

Unfulfilled Promise: The novel opens with Cassie meeting Denny, a college kid who hates his first name of Ralph. Knowing Ralph is a bit of a family name for the Macnairs’ and the knowledge that Ralph had many paramours prior to meeting Cassie leads the reader to think that Denny is perhaps a bit more important than he actually ends up being.

Romance: The relationship between Cassie and Ralph has turned up the heat, quite literally. It felt like nearly every scene ended with Cassie and Ralph in bed, which seems like a fairly realistic portrayal of many relationships and tastefully written, yet seemed a bit too much. Needless to say, Cassie and Ralph’s relationship was less angst-ridden and more about figuring out how to mesh two lives together to create a couple.

Memorable Moment: There is a Scots wedding that everyone attends and it made me wish I could have the opportunity to attend such a wedding, too. It was happy, and fun, and romantic, and everything wedding should be.

Personal Thoughts: I have a bit of a love/hate feeling towards the ending. The epilogue is beautifully written and I can understand finishing the story like that, but nevertheless it was sad and somewhat unexpected.

Note to Reader: I would recommend reading the two books, one after the other. This is because there are some things that are unclear or have back-story that is in the first novel that may not be remembered if you wait to read the second novel.

Quote: It’s like you have a dream. You think it will probably never come true –and that’s part of why you like it. Then you’re dream becomes a real thing, and there’s no more imagining. There’s just the living of it and that’s frightening. It’s not in your head anymore… It’s out there in the world.

The Verdict: I enjoyed the novel and was glad to know what happened next for Cassie and Ralph, yet I believe I liked their first story better… I will admit this might be due to the fact that I can better relate to the first novel at this stage of my own life. Nevertheless, I definitely recommend reading this book as it gives the needed conclusion to Cassie and Ralph’s loving relationship.

 Previous Posts: A Scottish Ferry TaleGuest Nancy VolkersIMM,  Teaser TuesdayWWW, Guest Nancy Volkers.


Author: JaimeKristal

JaimeKristal is a freelance editor and writer. She started her book review blog "Tales of a Booklover" for the enjoyment of sharing her love of reading.

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