A lively, satisfying 19th-century romance--and second hardcover for Harper (Circle of Gold, 1992--not reviewed)--that moves from the remote Scottish island of St. Kilda to Victorian London and finally to the wild paradise of Sanibel, Florida. When feisty young Abigail MacQueen marries her beloved Douglas on the isolated isle of St. Kilda, her happiness could not be more complete. But then Douglas is drowned and her fatherless son dies only days after his birth, victim of a mysterious illness that has killed eighty percent of the island babies within a week of birth. Devastated by her losses, Abigail makes a quest of trying to learn the cause of this alarming infant mortality, but she meets with hostility and resistance from the local population. Then Morgan West, an American sea captain, arrives, and it's love at first sight for Abigail. Instead of accepting his proposal, however, she treks to London, where she hopes to find answers to the medical questions that continue to haunt her. Morgan comes in search of her, and now they do marry--yet, once again, Harper puts her heroine through some boggling ups and downs, and happiness eludes Abigail when she learns of Morgan's death in a Civil War battle. She leaves London for the beautiful island of Sanibel, where she makes her new home in the house that Morgan had built for her. There, she continues her efforts to help the infants of St. Kilda, as well as becoming involved with helping fugitive slaves. Before the close, an unexpected turn of plot will yield a miraculous return from the dead--and the requisite happy ending. Admirable research, lively prose, and an epic-scale plot make this a sturdy bet for the romance readership.