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The Prodigal Son (The Graham Saga Book 3) Kindle Edition
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This entire third installment is about the persecution of the common people standing for their Presbyterian faith --- being forced to renounce their religious beliefs by the King or face death. At the same time it's the story of the struggles of a young boy coming of age while wondering who his real father is and searching for the truth. It's a fabulous continuing saga of epic proportions of Alex and Matthew's profound love for each other and their struggle to overcome so many political obstacles to safely raise their family in a time of frightening unrest. It is structurally well written carrying a solid, historical plot. Lust balanced with emotion...a harsh life filled with nothing but hard work, but full of the simple pleasures of life that are greatly valued. And Ms. Belfrage tells it so well.
Again there are some similarities to Outlander. It's sort of like Ms. Belfrage used OUTLANDER as a guide for her storytelling...taking a few scenes from that fabulous saga and then changes it up a bit. Even so, I'm addicted to this saga... enough that I must continue with the fourth book. I love Alex Graham...she's smart and intelligent....sassy and saucy....stubborn, opinionated and perky. She's a real spitfire on two legs --- ready to take on the world and anything else that stands in her way. This installment held enough suspense balanced with victory. There is humor as well as sadness that made me bawl buckets of snot filled tissues. The dialogue is witty and nicely balanced with narration. If you are looking for a story of epic proportions; of historical facts intertwined with romance and fictitious characters (and a few historical correct characters as well..)..then begin at the beginning... (although Ms. Belfrage adeptly brings us up-to-date with each installment....this third installment could easily stand alone).
Alex has come from the future and met a man fully immersed in his own time. The strength of their love story and the building of their family in this time is the story. The surrounding tale of the Scottish Covenanters is nearly secondary, for the struggle of a woman convincing her man that deep seated moral cares become secondary to real fears for the protection and succor of ones family could take place in many settings. The time is not as intrinsic to the plot as is the story of the family and as the subtitle relays, it is the story of the Graham's their saga.
We see this also in that the love between our hero and heroine are present from the beginning of the tale, the subplot of the Covenanters only mildly brought forth, even though it returns and returns, it is never as epic to us as the tale of the interactions of husband and wife. That alone is enough to keep the pages turning. The area where I might fault this, is in the heroine using more modern input to increase the strength of her family. Whether that is a knowledge of history, or technology, little of that is present beyond some adherence to a change in diet and an adherence to cleanliness. Some of my favorite tales are those where an uptime brings knowledge to that previous time and aids themselves and the people there with the changes they can bring. Our heroine seems little inclined to add her knowledge to aid her husband's farm.
Aside from that, one can read the Prodigal Son and become rapt up in the tale of Alex and her family, wanting to quickly discover what has come before and what is to come after if not already a fan of the series. Ms. Belfrage creates a strong woman who loves life, her husband and her children, not necessarily in that order. Strong enough that this is a heroine you'll want to meet and get to know better.