Thursday, 15 March 2018

Book Review | The Life She Left Behind

Blooming Fiction, Book Review | The Life She Left Behind

As a young widow with futures to secure for her two daughters, Glenda McKinley is torn between remaining at her beloved estate Pinmuir in the Scottish Highlands, or following the plans her deceased husband made to join his brother in America. Though her inclination is to stay among all that is dear and familiar, she is forced to reconsider when her daughter Caitlin's health takes a turn for the worse and the family doctor suggests a change of scenery would do her good.
The family's imminent departure for Colorado comes as a blow to Ros, the eldest girl, who has fallen in love with Clive, son of their estate manager. For her sister's sake, however, she agrees to try life on her uncle's cattle ranch and the family travel half the world away to start anew.
America is a whole new world to the McKinley family, and in spite of the hospitable welcome they receive from Gordon McKinley, the scale of the country and hard realities of ranch life come as a shock to the family who pine for the things and people they left behind in Scotland.
When a gentle, unassuming cowboy falls for Glenda, she has a strong incentive to stay and make a new life. But with Ros yearning for the man waiting for her back in Scotland, can the family ever find true happiness when each must pursue a different dream?


The Life She Left Behind
by Jessica Blair

  • Publisher: Piatkus; Reprint edition (8 Feb. 2018)
  • ISBN-10: 0349411298
  • Rating: 4/5

Waterstones - Paperback

Amazon UK - Kindle / Paperback


Listen to the book on Audible



Review

The Life She Left Behind is a charming story of a family trying to find their happiness, while also trying to keep their own hearts from breaking. 

A family of growing women is always hard when it comes to chasing dreams, but when it means giving up your own dreams for another family member it can cause resentment and unhappiness. The ladies of the McKinley family all feel their own share of love and heartache in this family focused tale but all is not completely lost in the world of romance. 

Moving from bonnie Scotland to Colorado the McKinley's experience a very different take on life and find it more than a little challenging. Especially with some family members longing for the land, and love, they left behind.

The Life She Left Behind is a warming tale which I don't think differs too much from stories like Little Women and Florence Grace. Entering a new environment is daunting but the women are strong and keep their dignity as they pursue various alleys of interest.

I found the book a cosy read in the evenings but at times I did skip a few paragraphs to get back to the story. I like character development but for me personally I can get bored of too much background. However, the story is a realistic and relatable plot which I think many fans of historical fiction would love. I also recommend reading The Himalayan Summer by Louise Brown if historical fiction is one of your reading priorities at the moment.


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