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Thorn in My Heart (Lowlands of Scotland Series #1) Paperback – March 18, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Higgs, the bestselling author of 20 inspirational books, successfully tries her hand at her first historical novel, spinning a new version of the biblical story of Jacob to show the costs of deception and the triumph of love despite adversity. The story opens in 1764 Scotland, a month before the birth of Rowena McKie's twin boys. Those readers familiar with the biblical account of Isaac and Rebecca, their twin sons Jacob and Esau, and Jacob's search for a wife will have no trouble discerning how the plot unwinds. Higgs has a good track record with romance novels (Bookends; Mixed Signals), and she handles the love affairs between the younger twin James McKie and sisters Rose and Leana McBride with aplomb. Despite the predictable story line, Higgs keeps a few surprises up her sleeve, including the device of a proxy wedding (which although historically authentic, may be a stretch for some). Christian fiction readers will appreciate many of the moral lessons gently delivered, especially as James discovers that deception is a two-edged sword. The book feels a bit too long, but Higgs's fine writing will satisfy historical fiction aficionados. Although Scottish words are liberally sprinkled throughout the text, their definition through context is usually clear, and a welcome and thorough glossary in the back of the book further aids readers. Higgs incorporates many lovely historical details, and her strong storytelling skills stand her in good stead here.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

?Wise, heart wrenching, and ultimately triumphant. I couldn?t put it down.?
?Francine Rivers, author of Redeeming Love

?Liz Curtis Higgs takes readers on a remarkable journey to the Lowlands of Scotland. A luminous sense of hope shines through this truly wrenching story of characters who are both larger than life and all too human. This unforgettable saga is as multilayered, mysterious, and joyous as love and faith can be.?
?Susan Wiggs, New York Times best-selling author -- Review
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press; First Edition edition (March 18, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157856512X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578565122
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Imagine a heartwarming Bible study wrapped inside a beautiful gift book: that's The Women of Christmas. the latest release from Liz Curtis Higgs. Verse by verse, Liz unpacks the biblical stories of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna, who each welcome the Christ child into the world in a marvelous and miraculous way.

Liz admits, "My goal is simple: to help women embrace the grace of God with joy and abandon!"

In her best-selling series of Bad Girls of the Bible books and videos, Liz breathes new life into ancient tales about the most infamous--and intriguing--women in scriptural history, from Jezebel to Mary Magdalene. Biblically sound and cutting-edge fresh, these popular titles have helped more than one million women around the world experience God's grace anew.

And, in The Girl's Still Got It, Liz offers a twenty-first century take on the book of Ruth, dishing out meat and milk, substance and style, in a highly readable, always entertaining, and deeply personal journey.

Liz's award-winning historical novels, which transport the stories of Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Dinah, Ruth, and Naomi to eighteenth-century Scotland, also invite readers to view these familiar biblical characters in a new light.

According to Publishers Weekly, "Higgs is a stickler for period authenticity." To that end, Liz has traveled sixteen times to Scotland, the setting for her novels, and has filled her shelves with nearly one thousand resource books about Scottish history and culture.

Also a gifted professional speaker, Liz has presented more than 1,700 inspirational programs for audiences in all fifty United States and fourteen foreign countries. When the National Speakers Association honored her with the Council of Peers Award for Excellence, Liz became one of only 35 women in the world named to their CPAE-Speaker Hall of Fame.

On the personal side, Liz is married to Bill Higgs, Ph.D., who serves as Director of Operations for her speaking and writing office. Liz and Bill enjoy their old Kentucky home, a nineteenth-century farmhouse in Louisville, and are the proud (and relieved) parents of two college grads.

"I have three abiding passions: encouraging my sisters in Christ, exploring the stories of women in the Bible, and writing novels set in Scotland of old. When I'm not traveling, speaking, or spinning a story, I connect with readers online, take copious photos, read historical novels, watch period films, and immerse myself in research--the more books, the merrier. I'm a lame housekeeper, a marginal cook, and a mediocre gardener, but home is still my favorite place to land."

Visit Liz's Web site: http://www.LizCurtisHiggs.com

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Customer Reviews

I read it in 4 days, couldn't put the book down, it captures you that much!
Pat&Deb Sisters
Thorn In My Heart doesn't shout the message-it allows for their subtle display in the good and bad choices of its human characters.
Daniel Darling
Liz Curtis Higgs based the novels in this series on the Biblical story of Jacob and his wives Leah and Rachel.
Melissa Ott

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Darling VINE VOICE on October 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have always known Liz Curtis Higgs as a humorist-having heard her on Christian radio a number of times. I had never read anything by her until now and what a fantastic read it was!
Thorn in My Heart absolutely grabbed me and wouldn't let go. This story is so rich and layered with meaning. I understand why it took Liz so wrong to transfer this plot from her heart to ours. Her thorough research of the Old TEstament story as well as 18th Century Scotland makes this book real and believable. And not only is the historical setting accurate-it carries the reader into 18th century Scotland and the hearts and minds of these proud, but God-fearing people.
You will laugh and cry at the characters on this stage. Liz brings out their real attributes every so slowly, not quick to make harsh judgments, but letting time and circumstance reveal them instead.
And if you know the Biblical account, Thorn In My Heart provides more depth to the people you thought you knew. Deceit, when displayed in full color, casts a far blacker shadow. And yet, you're often examining your own heart and asking, "What Would I Have Done?" And the pithy quotes at the beginning of each chapter leave the mind wondering what is to come next.
Thorn In My Heart doesn't shout the message-it allows for their subtle display in the good and bad choices of its human characters. There are no cookie-cutter heroes or villains, only sinners in need of God's redemptive grace.
I salute Liz Curtis Higgs for writing an elegant literary classic that will be talked about for years. Add this book to the stack on your nightstand and you will not be disappointed.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By curvynovelsdotinfo on June 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
Heroines: varied

On the misty moors of eighteenth century Scotland a family saga unfolds. The highest hope of any daughter born in that day was to marry and marry well. But what is to be done when two sisters each long for the same man? How can happiness be found in such a bitter situation which threatens to drive a wedge between the most loving of sisters, forcing them to act in ways they never expected they could?
Can any man be worthy of such attention?
What worked for me:

I don't usually mention them, but I have to say I was very drawn to the cover of this novel both for its beautiful appearance and lovely feel. This is a quality publication in every sense of the phrase.
Each chapter was headed by highly apt quotes. I found myself referring back to them at the end of each chapter to see just what the author might have been hinting at when she chose those proverbs.
What texture the deftly interwoven archaic Scottish words added to the dialogue! And though the novel was of a heavy note overall, there were several snippets of speech which were quite amusing and lightened things up a bit. (However, as a hearing impaired person I don't think I could have managed the audio book version of this story. The Scottish dialect and words would have skittered off my ears and never even have entered my brain for examination.)
I also greatly appreciated the fact that this novel didn't appear to be whitewashed. There were healthy doses of the old superstitions that even the staunchest Christians of the day were likely to believe in.
Inspirational or otherwise, I'm not a fan of novels where I can feel the author standing on a soapbox with a bullhorn inside the story.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amber on July 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is such a fantastic book! I bought it because I love retellings of Biblical stories and I really enjoyed Liz Curtis Higgs' "Mad Mary" and "Bad Girls" books. It took me a few chapters to get into the book because of the Scottish terms she used, but eventually I saw that they were fairly easy to define just using context. Once I got into it, I could not put the book down. My heart ached so much for Leana, yet she grew into a strong and resolute character. And the chapter-heading quotations are very appropriate. This book is definitely worth a read, even if you're not a Christian or you're not familiar with Higgs' work. If you have read anything else by her, this is practically a must-read & you won't be disappointed!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Morton on February 25, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First of all, I read this book because my aunt was reading it one day, and she let me look it over, and then let me borrow it. So I was first drawn to the cover. ;)

But it was a good judgement. The story of Leanna and Rose and Jamie sounded very character driven and interesting.

Best of all though, the story had good values, a wealth of good and evil within the characters, although mostly good, and the story was well written.

I would have enjoyed the story anyway, without being well written, because the story was based on one in the Bible. It was a good story, with different twists and very human.

The fact that it was well written, and had quotes at the beginning (thoughtful, meaningful, interesting quotes) really added to my enjoyment. I love quotes at the beginning of each chapter!

I enjoyed the book so much that I borrowed the second and third book from my aunt as well. Even though I was in school and she was going back home so I really had to squeeze in reading them.

It was well worth it.
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