JENNIE ABOUT TO BE by Elisabeth Ogilvie


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Ogilvie leaves her contemporary Maine clambakes for the first volume in a period trilogy--starting out in England and Scotland. Jennie Hawthorne, a 21-year-old orphan, educated by her father well beyond the needs (thinks her guardian aunt) of an unmarried girl, is just about to run away from London and marriage. . . when into her life comes handsome Captain Nigel Gilchrist of the Royal Horse Guards. To Jennie's amazement, Nigel loves her as she loves him. They wed; Nigel leaves the Guards to become the factor on his ancestral estate of Linnmore in the Scottish Highlands--where the laird of Linnmore is Nigel's genial, weak half-brother Archie, married to witchy Christabel. Still, despite the hostility of snobby Christabel (who despises the lowly Linnmore tenant farmers), Jennie is happy at first--loving Nigal, the natural beauty, entering into the lives of the estate's Highlanders, learning Gaelic, and promising to establish a school (all anathema to Christabel). And when Jennie understands the harrowing fear of the tenants, their dread of the horrific landlord clearances, she elicits a promise from Nigel that such misery would never happen at Linnmore. But some of the folk are skeptical about Nigel's promise--including Alick Gilchrist, an illegitimate descendant of the lairds who has cast his lot with the peasantry. Alas, indeed, the nightmare does come to pass--and who is it that Jennie sees torching thatch? Nigel himself--who has become a detestable ""marzipan soldier."" So, after the death and devastation, Nigel and Alick will meet in a deadly confrontation; Jennie and Alick will soon be on the run northward, trekking through natural hazards, an attempted murder, even a brush with a ghost or two. And finally, disguised as man and wife, they're off on the Paul Revere to the New World. An old hand at tale-spinning, Ogilvie gives this saga a pro pace (if not much verve), with familiar bad stiffs and good, talky girls. Loyal fans will definitely want to climb aboard.

Pub Date: April 23rd, 1984
Publisher: McGraw-Hill