The death of the clan patriarch has thrown the tiny Shetland Islands community of Whale’s Reef into turmoil.
Everyone assumed MacGregor Tulloch’s heir to be his grand-nephew David, a local favorite, but when it is discovered that MacGregor left no will, David’s grasping cousin Hardy submits his own claim to the inheritance, an estate that controls most of the island’s land. And while Hardy doesn’t enjoy much popular support, he has the backing of a shadowy group of North Sea oil investors. The courts have frozen the estate’s assets while the competing claims are investigated, leaving many of the residents in financial limbo. The future of the island—and its traditional way of life—hangs in the balance.
Loni Ford is enjoying her rising career in a large investment firm in Washington, DC. Yet in spite of her outward success, she is privately plagued by questions of identity. Orphaned as a young child, she was raised by her paternal grandparents, and while she loves them dearly, she feels completely detached from her roots. That is until a mysterious letter arrives from a Scottish solicitor. . . .
Past and present collide in master storyteller Phillips’s dramatic new saga of loss and discovery, of grasping and grace, and of the dreams of men and women everywhere.
Michael Phillips is a bestselling author with more than 70 of his own titles. In addition, he has served as editor/redactor of nearly 30 more books. He is known as the man responsible for the reawakened interest in George MacDonald of the last 30 years. In addition to the MacDonald titles adapted/edited for today’s reader, his publishing efforts in bringing back full-length quality facsimile editions also spawned renewed interest in MacDonald’s original work. Michael and his wife, Judy, spend time each year in Scotland but make their home near Sacramento, California.
Find out more about Michael at https://www.facebook.com/michaelphillipschristianauthor.
I was really excited when I was offered the chance to review The Inheritance by Michael Phillips. This novel looked exactly like books that I enjoy most — multi-generational, interesting setting, complex characterization and written by an author known for literary excellence. Then . . . I started hearing a buzz of negative reviews. Note to self: don’t read reviews! Just kidding! However, I did face the reading of this book with trepidation. But from the first page I was captivated. Phillips’ prose is lyrical, his characters are compelling, the setting is magnificent. I loved The Inheritance!
Whales Reef is a remote island in the already remote Shetland Islands. Fierce winds and waves create a daunting landscape for the hardy people that cling to tradition, both Celtic and Norse. Survival is always tenuous, but with the death of the laird, the future for the citizens of Whales Reef and the Tulloch Clan is in doubt. With greedy North Sea oilmen, feuding cousins and an unknown American claimant to the inheritance, uncertainty abounds and a rich heritage may come to an end.
The Inheritance has a complex structure — multiple settings, multiple time periods and multiple characters’ perspectives. And while a little daunting to a reader expecting to breeze through the novel, it provided this reader a rich reading experience. Phillips is a master at conveying the people and place of The Shetlands. I could almost feel the mist on my face and the smell of the sea in the air. His writing is a bit dense, but I found myself lost in David’s rambles across the island of Whales Reef. And while it took some time to get used to the patois of the native speech, I got the hang of it and enjoyed the local flavor. Characterization is strong. I loved David’s strong sense of duty to his people and his home. Loni struggles with identity and a yearning for a family. The villains of the novel were easy to dislike, but also are well-drawn. Dependence on a sovereign God is an underlying theme.
The Inheritance is just the first book in a planned series. A lot is accomplished in the story, but there is so much more to come. I eagerly await revisiting Whales Reef.
To purchase this book, click HERE.
(Thanks to Bethany House and LitFuse for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)
The Inheritance Giveaway
Enter to win a copy of The Inheritance—five winners will be chosen! Click HERE to enter to win. The winners will be announced May 12 on the Litfuse blog!