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A Dark and Distant Shore

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | A Dark and Distant Shore.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Reay Tannahill(Author)

    Book details


Reay Tannahill's great bestseller is the story of one extraordinary woman's determination to win back her birthright -- the remote and beautiful West Highlandcastle ofKinveil -- sold by her father to aGlasgow merchant when she was seven years old. It is also the intricate picture of a family in the heyday of the British Empire, an epic story spanning almost a hundred years and stretching fromEdinburgh to the Crimea, from an expandingAmerica to theIndia of the Raj.

Reay Tannahill was born and brought up in Scotland, and now lives in London. A DARK AND DISTANT SHORE, her first historical novel, was an instant bestseller, and PASSING GLORY won the 1990 Boots/RNA Romantic Novel of the Year award. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

4.5 (13320)
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Book details

  • PDF | 768 pages
  • Reay Tannahill(Author)
  • Penguin Books (1984)
  • English
  • 8
  • Literature & Fiction

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Review Text

  • By Lilly Flora on December 8, 2006

    I bought this book because someone described it as a Scottish "Gone with the Wind" and it just sounded good. The reviews were mixed, but still, it seemed worth a look.Well, in the end, no, this book is not really worth a look. The story of Vilia, who's father sold her ancestral castle out from under her because of gambling debts and then fights the rest of her life to get it back (not really, but the back cover of the book implies that she does) is just not good as it might have been. The first 200 pages or so are quite good but after that the book just gets into a whole cycle of women being raped by perfectly nice men for no reason and then dying. Almost every character in this book is a terribly person with little or no redeeming qualities. People get mad for stupid reasons; gigantic family secrets that would ruin lives are never exposed out in the open where their dramatic effect would drastically increase the quality of the book.Anyway, seriously, this book made me tired. It is wearisome. Somebody grab me a fainting couch. The time I spent reading this book could have been better used. Still, because of those first 200 pages, which were good, and a few chapters here and there that spiced things up, I will be generous with my ranking.Three stars.

  • By lawyeraau on April 9, 2004

    Those readers with an affinity for Scotland and an appreciation for the historical fiction genre will certainly enjoy this well-written novel. Reay Tannahill is an excellent writer of historical fiction and this book is no exception. With a multitude of well-fleshed characters, an intricate, generational plot that spans several continents, and numerous historic events, this book will keep all lovers of historical fiction turning its pages.The book revolves around Vilia Cameron, daughter and only child of Theo Cameron, the Laird of Kinveil, a remote castle in the Scottish highlands. It is Vilia's love of and obsession with this castle, the home of all her forebears that, once lost due to her father's inability to manage its finances, is the driving force in her life and at the core of all her happiness and unhappiness.While Vilia Cameron and her obsession with Kinveil are the focal point of the novel, another family, the Telfers, plays a large part. When Mungo Telfer, a rich merchant sees Kinveil, steeped with over five hundred years of Scottish history, he falls in love with it. Knowing that Theo Cameron, the current Laird of Kinveil, is financially strapped, Mungo Telfer makes him an offer that he cannot refuse, and so the castle is sold to the highest bidder. That was the day that would live in infamy in the mind of seven year old Vilia Cameron. It is a day that she would never forget, as her beloved home slipped away from her. Yet, curiously enough, Mungo Telfer and Vilia were to form a bond that day that would forever bind the Camerons and the Telfers throughout their lives.Vilia's desire to have Kinveil in her possession would brook no interference. It was to be hers at all costs. This single, ruthless ambition of hers would drive her throughout her entire life and impact greatly on her life, as well as on the lives of her children and all those whose lives were to become intertwined with hers. Beautiful and driven, she would eventually embark upon a forbidden love that was to never be, as it was supplanted by this driving, burning ambition to be mistress in her childhood home. Her ambition would one day come to fruition, but it would end up costing her more than she could ever have imagined.This is a well-researched work of historical fiction, in which nineteenth century Scotland comes to life in the author's capable hands, as do its characters, infused with the social mores and beliefs of the era. The book is also interspersed with notable historical events of the day. Of particular interest is the Sepoy rebellion in India, which is told from the perspective of a young woman who finds herself in India through Vilia's clever, though somewhat diabolical, behind the scene machinations. While some of the sub-plots that help move the story along may, at times, strain the reader's credulity, the overall story is one that carries the reader along to its finale. It is one that those who enjoy historical fiction will particularly appreciate, as will those who simply enjoy a good story.

  • By lawyeraau on May 22, 2008

    Those readers with an affinity for Scotland and an appreciation for the historical fiction genre will certainly enjoy this well-written novel. Reay Tannahill is an excellent writer of historical fiction and this book is no exception. With a multitude of well-fleshed characters, an intricate, generational plot that spans several continents, and numerous historic events, this book will keep all lovers of historical fiction turning its pages.The book revolves around Vilia Cameron, daughter and only child of Theo Cameron, the Laird of Kinveil, a remote castle in the Scottish highlands. It is Vilia's love of and obsession with this castle, the home of all her forebears that, once lost due to her father's inability to manage its finances, is the driving force in her life and at the core of all her happiness and unhappiness.While Vilia Cameron and her obsession with Kinveil are the focal point of the novel, another family, the Telfers, plays a large part. When Mungo Telfer, a rich merchant sees Kinveil, steeped with over five hundred years of Scottish history, he falls in love with it. Knowing that Theo Cameron, the current Laird of Kinveil, is financially strapped, Mungo Telfer makes him an offer that he cannot refuse, and so the castle is sold to the highest bidder. That was the day that would live in infamy in the mind of seven year old Vilia Cameron. It is a day that she would never forget, as her beloved home slipped away from her. Yet, curiously enough, Mungo Telfer and Vilia were to form a bond that day that would forever bind the Camerons and the Telfers throughout their lives.Vilia's desire to have Kinveil in her possession would brook no interference. It was to be hers at all costs. This single, ruthless ambition of hers would drive her throughout her entire life and impact greatly on her life, as well as on the lives of her children and all those whose lives were to become intertwined with hers. Beautiful and driven, she would eventually embark upon a forbidden love that was to never be, as it was supplanted by this driving, burning ambition to be mistress in her childhood home. Her ambition would one day come to fruition, but it would end up costing her more than she could ever have imagined.This is a well-researched work of historical fiction, in which nineteenth century Scotland comes to life in the author's capable hands, as do its characters, infused with the social mores and beliefs of the era. The book is also interspersed with notable historical events of the day. Of particular interest is the Sepoy rebellion in India, which is told from the perspective of a young woman who finds herself in India through Vilia's clever, though somewhat diabolical, behind the scene machinations. While some of the sub-plots that help move the story along may, at times, strain the reader's credulity, the overall story is one that carries the reader along to its finale. It is one that those who enjoy historical fiction will particularly appreciate, as will those who simply enjoy a good story.


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