January 17, 2017
“Better run, girl,
You're much too young, girl
With all the charms of a woman
You've kept the secret of your youth
You led me to believe
You're old enough
To give me Love” - written by Jerry Fuller, sung by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap
I may have a different view of our heroine Margot than some of my fellow Petunia's. Before I
get started on my small rant, let me say this: I liked Wild Wicked Scot. Did everything send me into raptures in this story? No. Were there moments when I wanted to reach through the book and choke somebody? Yes. Even with some of the things I found irritating, I became absorbed with the story, the characters, and wondered just how we would get a believable happy ending.
Plot. Our heroine, Margot, is married to a stranger, Arran, when she'd just turned 18. She is then packed off to Scotland to live with strangers. Here's the thing - she's very pampered, very spoiled, waited on hand and foot. She is used to a society of "friends", people who talk to her, laugh with her, surround her. She is a privileged young girl, isolated. Does she know her father's a deceitful liar who is using her for his own purposes? No, and why should she? He's never done anything but give her a comfortable life. The only thing he's done which upsets her world is marry her to a Scottish-alpha-male-lout (our hero Arran).
Margot. I found Margot to be a totally sympathetic character and I had no problem with her being spoiled. I also don't see a problem with the amount of time it took Margot to grow up. If anything I had a problem with the fact that she's the one who was expected to do alllll the changing. There was never one moment in this book in which our hero backed down, saw he was wrong or apologized. Oh sure, he wrote letters which he never sent, but it is always Margot who was the one who was expected to do all the work. She's the one who had to accept the uncouth villages, be happy her husband doesn't talk to her, be with people who talk a different language. She is expected to accept everything the way it is and never ever complain. I think it's a mistake for us as readers to expect an eighteen-year-old pampered girl to adapt and change in the strange environment she was thrust into. So, for me Margot's character was written realistically and I was cheering her on at every turn. If I have a problem (and it would be a small one) it is with Arran.
As I said before, he doesn't do any of the changing in this book. He is somewhat older than Margot. For him it is love at first sight; he falls in love with someone he has spotted on the balcony. He marries her and drags off to the wilds of Scotland, continues on with his life and expects her to blend in. Never once does he explain himself, he goes for days doing whatever it is he has to do and never tells her diddly squat. He's older than Margot, more experienced, he should know that occasionally he has to pay attention to his new, young wife. So, for me, both of the characters needed to change, not just Margot.
Now, you might think I didn't like this book. Wrong. Remember I said at the beginning I liked it, in fact I liked it a lot. It's just the little rant which distracts. I will admit it took me a chapter or two to understand and like the characters in this book. But then I found myself being absorbed into the book, reading most of the words and wanting it to last just a little bit longer. And, even though I included Arran's letters as part of my rant, those letters were soooo touching. Ms. London's writing when it revolves around those letters was truly magical. Not only do you feel Arran's despair, you also feel Margot's pain when she reads them. I loved the letter scenes.
Overall, I recommend this book. This is a character-driven story, with some pretty strong characters. Even if you have a problem with one of the characters in Wild Wicked Scot, there are some really wonderful moments in this book and you really shouldn't miss it.
Time/Place: Scotland during the time of Queen Anne of England - big hair