KILCARAIG by Annabel Carothers


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Kilcaraig is a tiny village on the Scottish coast--the setting for this gently congenial, six-decade family saga. In 1913 Catriona Lamont, one of the two daughters of the good Laird of Kilcaraig, dies giving birth to illegitimate Grandia, who is adopted by the Laird's heir Ian and his cool English wife Evelyn. So Grandia grows up happy at Kilcaraig. But in 1932, after the deaths of both the Laird and Ian, the estate is sold to wealthy, materialistic Englishman Robert Dutton--and Grandia, determined to save the ancestral acres, marries Dutton. Can she be, however, a dutiful wife? Well, that becomes a wee bit difficult with the arrival of handsome Roderick Lamont, a distant cousin: while heartsick Robert watches with binoculars, Grandia and Roderick walk, talk about poetry, and fall in love. Still, during World War II (Roderick is temporarily reported Missing), there will be a brief spot of happiness with devoted, tactful Robert before he dies. And Robert's will turns out to be a clever tactic to assure that Grandia will marry Roderick. Jump, then, to 1968, when the offspring of Grandia and Roderick--the twins, Rorie and Niall, and Catriona--will have their Highland flings at romance: lonely Londoner Josanne Murray will blissfully marry Niall; Rorie will fall for older Isabella Connelli (nÉe Isabel Connell from Dublin), to family consternation; Catriona will wed an illegitimate distant cousin. And finally, circa 1978, there'll be mystery and tragedy when a newcomer moves into the Manse--along with young-folk renewals of old traditions. Cosy village ambiance, much be-kilted sociability, and a quiet pace (with none of that cooing over ""quaintness"" which mars many of the Scottish sagas): a pleasant entry from a newcomer.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1982
Publisher: St. Martin's