Friday, April 24, 2015

Review: Thorn in My Heart

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Genres: Christian; Biblical Fiction; Historical Fiction; Romance
Pages: 496

Thorn in My Heart (Lowlands of Scotland, #1)

Two brothers fight to claim one father’s blessing.
Two sisters long to claim one man’s heart.

In the autumn of 1788, amid the moors and glens of the Scottish Lowlands, two brothers and two sisters each embark on a painful journey of discovery.

Jamie and Evan McKie both want their father Alec’s flocks and lands, yet only one brother will inherit Glentrool. Leana and Rose McBride both yearn to catch the eye of the same handsome lad, yet only one sister will be his bride.

A thorny love triangle emerges, plagued by lies and deception, jealousy and desire, hidden secrets and broken promises. Brimming with passion and drama, Thorn in My Heart brings the past to vibrant life, revealing spiritual truths that transcend time and penetrate the deepest places of the heart.

My review:
Let my begin by saying that I do agree with the description Goodreads has provided. A more thorny love triangle I have never seen or heard of, and there is almost more drama, deception, and jealousy in this book than I can bear. Oh, and there are many spirituals truths. I know, that last one didn't quite seem to fit, did it? But it's true, even though those little gems seemed to be buried under everything I didn't like about the book.

To put it simply, this story irked me. Yet the whole time I was reading it there was this inexplicable draw.

It starts off interesting enough. The parallel to the bible story is obvious. Jamie finds himself in trouble at home. After stealing his brother's blessing with the support of his mother, he begins to fear for his life. He may now be the one to inherit Glentrool, but what good is that to him if he ends up dead by his brother's hands? It was a good beginning, but I found myself anxious to get to the drama of the story, when Jamie meets Leana and Rose(Leah and Rachel's counterparts).

Boy, if I had known... (Some minor spoilers ahead?)

With his brother after him, Jamie flees to home of his Uncle Lachlan, hoping to gain a wife during his stay. He's immediately attracted to the beautiful Rose that he barely even gives Leana, the tender compassionate mother hen, a second glance. Cue the love triangle.
Because Rose doesn't want to get married. She's fifteen years old for Pete's sake! So she and her sister agree that Leana must be the one to win the man.
I'm trying not to be too spoilery, but it's really very hard. In short, our characters are very, very fickle. There is lying, backstabbing, and deceit. A lot of the characters' actions were utterly despicable. Lachlan especially, but Jamie bothered me the most. His actions were innocent, yet so cruel. He's attracted to Rose, but he leads Leana on so many times it's no wonder she thinks him to be in love with her.
These characters take marriage so lightly. And divorce to be a perfectly acceptable thing! Yes, I realize this is a retelling of the Old Testament story, but these people are Christians! So why don't they act like it?
This book is classified as Biblical Fiction.
It reads more like a soap opera.
I really hate to be so harsh. Despite all of this, I DO feel sympathy for the characters(except Lachlan). It wasn't easy for any of them.
And I'll be completely honest--I read this book in one day. One day. I had to put it down and pick it back up several times, but it was extremely well written. I don't know of another story that has made me FEEL so much. Hence the extra star. I liked the ending, though I hate how it twists the original story. The whole thing just left a bad taste in my mouth, and I won't be reading the next one, however much I want to know what happens next.
Content: Mature themes; mentions of the intimacy between man and wife

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  1. The books were you can't put them down, but don't like the character/plot are the worst! It sounds interesting though, so I'll add Thorn in My Heart to my TBR :)

    1. Yes, I can't stand that! I don't want to keep reading and yet I can't stop reading! I hope you enjoy it more than I did!

  2. Interesting review! Thorn in My Heart is on my Goodreads to-read list, since a while ago I read the last book in the series without realizing it belonged to a series (it was very good, by the way, and does work as a stand-alone). I'm a little hesitant now, though -- thanks for the warning! Maybe I'll wait to get a second opinion from Opal. :)

    1. Yes, well a lot of people did like it. I'm definitely in the minority on this one, so I agree with you getting a second opinion! That's interesting; I may have to try another Liz Curtis Higgs Book. I like her writing style at least. Maybe this one was just a fluke for me :)

  3. Ahh, it's totally hard when characters kill your braincells but the book is so impossible to put down. >_< I read one of those today! Except the writing was lame, it was just the plot I was uber curious about. SO MUCH ANGST. gah.
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. Right? It's just awful. I really just need to learn how to force myself to stop reading a book that I'm not enjoying.