To Laura, who’s masterful pen spins lore and imagination into a mesmerizing tale that follows me throughout my days, until the stories very end. But who am I kidding? A Bound Heart sweetens my musings—well past the reading of the last richly written word—all for envisaging Lark MacDougall, Granny, Larkin, Magnus and Rory, the handsome captain of the Merry Lass. Their struggles are a glimpse into the anguish, which hundreds of immigrants suffered after they were spirited from their homes—willing or not—to arrive in a vastly different land. The cost to these brave souls, whether they welcomed the New World or feared their indenture was inspired by Laura’s own family history. Dedicated to her sixth great-grandfather, I find this story appropriately named. A Bound Heart has enriched my appreciation for my own ancestors daring and dangerous trip across the Atlantic, which planted them in a young country whose culture proved strange compared to their heartfelt home. This story is filled with dreams, ache for what was and what could be as well as danger met with courage. Laura has put her heart and soul into this novel and I feel this to be true for how her words reached out to me.
This novel was given to me by Laura, and I’m honored to present a true and accurate review of this more-than-worthy read. If you enjoy adventure, beautifully written depictions of location, eighteenth century time period, and characters that leap off the page with authenticity, then I recommend this novel to you. In fact, I doubly recommend this story to you! I plan to purchase the audio version of A Bound Heart for I have enjoyed every audio rendition from Laura’s collections of novels. Hearing her tales unfold with turns of phrases—uniquely Laura’s—makes the mundane seem so much less common as her lively tales even stir an eagerness for me to put my hands in the suds!
QUESTIONS FOR LAURA:
I’ve loved the photo you shared from Kerrera, Scotland on Facebook! How did you settle on this location?
I’m so thankful I was able to take several trips to Scotland, one with my pastor brother in Spain, and other trips with Liz Curtis Higgs. Scotland is a very compact country so I found, after taking the train and driving all over, that the Hebrides and that stunning coast with all its rich history would be an ideal setting. The castle ruins and vistas provided so much inspiration!
Was Kerrera Castle modeled after your sixth great-grandfather, George Hume’s Wedderburn Castle? Did you ever see Wedderburn Castle in person or if it is not standing—its ruins?
Yes, to modeling the fictitious Kerrera Castle after the rebuilt Wedderburn which had fallen to ruins but has been restored, thankfully. Though it looks very different now than the original castle where my kin lived, it’s on the same grounds.
Oh, Larkin has stolen my heart! Was the baby photo on your website the beginning of his character’s creation for A Bound Heart? What an excellent addition to your story he is indeed!
So happy Larkin stole your heart, too! I hadn’t thought to include him then found that amazing photo of a red-headed infant on the web. When Lark was boarding the ship for Virginia, I thought her life would be wonderfully complicated by a baby. I love babies so tuck them in books whenever it suits the story 😊
Granny said the most amazing things! Thank you for her and for Lark’s amazing love interests: Lard Magnus MacLeish and Captain Roy MacPherson. Which one of these characters was your favorite to write?
I loved Granny, too. So happy you want to quote her! I enjoyed Magnus very much as a character yet felt the heaviness and responsibility of lairds back then tending their tenants and sheep and heartbreaking things that stretched their lives to the seams. So here is a fun Granny quote! Thank you Laura!
"His whiskers need trimming," Granny said in the next breath. "He has the look of a pirate, he does."
Elsewhere, you’ve shared about reading diaries from the time period of your story. Where did you find such treasures to glean the authentic thoughts and attitudes of the people in your story?
Much can be found on the web if you take care to check the legitimacy of your sources and through inter-library loan for out of print books, etc. What helped, most of all, was the collection of letters penned by my Scottish ancestors, written back and forth between Virginia and Scotland in the 18th-century. A true treasure trove! Somehow those letters were lost about 1900 by the family but thankfully someone had copied them, so we still have what was said. Also remarkable are the legal documents and business dealings and surveys signed by my George which also include the signature of George Washington as well. Truth really is stranger than fiction!
Will you pen another winsome tale from your beloved Scotland? (I hope so!)
Readers have said they’d love a sequel to A Bound Heart. So happy about that though I’m not sure it will happen as I’m slated for other stories. Something about Jamaica in winter sounds quite nice!
Where do you wish your readers to connect with you?