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Return to Roseland Paperback – August 2, 2016
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For the anthropologist, it is a fascinating case study. For the visitor, it can be a nightmare. For young Andy Ferguson, a PhD candidate studying the patterns of auk biology, an escape from the island at the end of John Sheffield’s ROSELAND”S SECRET should have been the end of a harrowing episode in his life.
But it wasn’t. He returns two years later, having studied agriculture, prepared to immerse himself again in this challenging community. Why would he do such a thing? Love, love for Rose Pascoe, newly graduated physician, beloved islander and future leader. For her he risks everything; for her alone he returns.
If you enjoyed Sheffield’s last novel, you will love his RETURN TO ROSELAND. Only Sheffield can skillfully weave together Shakespeare, a methane conversion apparatus, plant pathology, an intriguing mystery, a love story, pagan ritual, and strong storytelling.
Will Andy and Rose at last get married? Who is trying to prevent this from happening? Will he be intimidated by the upholders of island tradition and leave without Rose? Will the impending Midsummer’s Day festivities tear apart their plans? How will they negotiate the obstacles and opposition? Lives and futures are at stake and the desire for answers keep the pages flying.
It really is a marvelous story. The question is: will we see these familiar characters and customs again? For those of us who have become enchanted by Roseland, we can only hope so.
There are a few residents of Roseland, where vestiges of paganism abound, who are openly hostile and even given to violence when young Andrew Ferguson, from the U. S., returns after a two-year absence with the intent of marrying a Roseland resident he’d previously met.
Although Andrew has allies among the locals, he cannot be certain of who supports him and who doesn’t as he attempts to develop sustainable farming methods for the islanders. His hope, of course, it that he can make himself a valuable—and welcomed—asset to the community.
Things don’t go smoothly for Andy. He’s threatened, beaten up, and told he will never be allowed to marry a Roselander. He forges ahead, however, unsure if things will work out in his favor and if those who said they will help him really will.
Tension mounts steadily as the story nears its explosive conclusion.
RETURN TO ROSELAND is a great tale and one I urge you not to miss. It’s an engaging page turner set in an almost whimsical environment.