Today’s team review is from Liz, she blogs here https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/
Liz has been reading The Mermaid And The Bear by Ailish Sinclair
Scotland in 1597 was not a place to be a woman, especially a woman of faith, opinions or healing gifts. But Isobell has fled from her London home to avoid marriage to a cruel Englishman and has found kindness and friendship in a Scottish castle. Hiding her wealthy background, she starts work as a kitchen maid but her clumsy mistakes reveal her lack of experience. While Bessie, the housekeeper guards her secrets, Isobell must be more cautious with Agnes, the spiteful governess and Christen, the aristocratic lady of the house.
Soon Isobell is captivated by the impressive castle and its fairy tale setting and she finds meeting the Laird is an overwhelming experience. It is a pleasure to read of their growing romance despite misunderstandings but as they grow closer, others gather to cause pain and suffering.
This carefully researched story is based on true events in Aberdeen when cruel men gained power over innocent women by accusing them of witchcraft. It is a horrifying story from our history, mirrored in other parts of the United Kingdom. Thankfully in The Mermaid and the Bear the sadness is tempered by love and kinship in a believable and satisfying conclusion. An enchanting novel.
Isobell needs to escape. She has to. Her life depends on it.
She has a plan and it’s a well thought-out, well observed plan, to flee her privileged life in London and the cruel man who would marry her, and ruin her, and make a fresh start in Scotland.
She dreams of faery castles, surrounded by ancient woodlands and misty lochs… and maybe even romance, in the dark and haunted eyes of a mysterious Laird.
Despite the superstitious nature of the time and place, her dreams seem to be coming true, as she finds friendship and warmth, love and safety. And the chance for a new beginning…
Until the past catches up with her.
Set in the late sixteenth century, at the height of the Scottish witchcraft accusations, The Mermaid and the Bear is a story of triumph over evil, hope through adversity, faith in humankind and – above all – love.