25 Dec 2010 – from Jen

A charming book, in which we spend a day in the company of Mrs Memmary, along with some casual visitors, at Keepsfield, a great Scottish house, hearing the story of Lady Rose, who grew up here and was given the house by Queen Victoria as an only daughter who wouldn’t otherwise have inherited it.  I grasped the central conceit early on, but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book.  It was moving, affecting, and steeped in the characters’ love of Scotland and its history; a fairytale story, set apart from, but irrevocably linked into, real life (just as Charles Kingsley’s stories are – he is introduced cleverly into the narrative), with all its customs and tragedies.  Some of the enthusiasms of the main character and the beautifully-drawn children do recall Ferguson as a favourite pony writer; otherwise you wouldn’t know this was by her.  A lovely read.