This was a win for me and aren't I the lucky duck for getting this one. I had read one book in the series and this is the eighth one in the lot.
Matthew and Alex with their brood now live in Maryland having left Scotland under a dark cloud. Matthew's brother Luke has now gifted Hillview to him and he yearns to go back to the land of his birth. Alex is torn. She has to go with Matthew but she is leaving half her family behind and this she hates to do. She does go with him and two of their boys leaving the rest behind. This does not augur well for their relationship as well as she is angry, bitter and distraught at leaving her daughters behind.
Arriving at Hillview is not as rosy as they expected. There is antagonism towards Alex from the beginning. She is different - no small wonder with her taking baths every week which is enough to set people against her! A time traveler herself she has adapted to life in the present times but is certainly not the average woman of her time.
Scotland is in turmoil in the 1600s with the Stuart Catholic king on one side and the foreign but Dutch Protestant William on the other. Matthew's reluctance to openly support William is also looked at with suspicion especially as the family has Catholic friends and visitors.
After just a year in Scotland the decision to move back to Maryland is made and the journey begins. Leaving David their youngest behind in Scotland is again hard for Alex but the decision is made and the return trip done. Arriving in Maryland things are not rosy and difficulties in the form of religious persecution against their daughter Sarah who has converted to Catholicism, a murder trial, and the machinations of Richard Campbell a pastor makes Alex's and Matthew's life a misery.
The historical detail in the book would be in itself a saga. Life in the Colonies and Samuel being adopted by an Indian tribe would be a story in itself. His final choice of being Indian rather than White is a saga in itself. Alex the heroine of the story would spin off a couple of novels in herself. The book is difficult to review because so many facets of the story are brilliant each within itself. History, the family saga, the journeys on the high seas in the 1600s is an adventure again and then we have the complicated inter personal relationships of Matthew, his brother Luke and his dead wife Margaret with Alex, we then have the time travel of Isaac the first born son of Alex who disappeared when he was eight and then turned up in his late twenties. We have Mercedes Alex's mother and other characters in the time travel series who pop in and out of the story adding spice to an already very complicated set of characters. We have pastors who are anything but compassionate - in fact they are positively evil and they play an important part in this particular book.
Another book I couldn't put down. Very good historical detail, descriptive about living conditions and ways of life in both the Colonies and Scotland apart from being a fabulous family saga.