Jeanie’s Destiny is set in 1870 on the coast of Galloway in Scotland. The book opens when the heroine is sixteen years old. Her mother, who married a man for love who turned out to be a poor provider and father, has warned Jeanie not to make the same mistake. When Jeanie is left to take care of the family after her mother’s death, she has to give up her dreams of becoming a teacher. She is constantly looking for reassurance and love, and finds this with an ex-convict. She fell in love with Tam through the letters he wrote to her from prison, indicating that he was an intelligent and sensitive man.
She marries him, after he has been released from prison a reformed man, and he turns out to be similar to her father. Tam is overprotective and jealous, but is unable to provide them with a decent living. He is a larger-than-life character and his obsessive love is well portrayed.
Throughout the book, Jeanie provides care for her younger siblings, and also for Robby, the baby that she has with Tam. When things go awry, a second suitor appears on the scene. Jeanie, throughout these years of uncertainty and hardship, has been loved from a distance by the village priest, William Ewart. He is a man twice her age, shy and bumbling, but intelligent and good-hearted.
This is an excellent book; it sweeps the reader along from the very first page. The characters are vivid and authentic, the action exciting, and historical setting exactly right. The only quibble with this terrific book is that the print size is too small. Nevertheless, I would recommend it; it is an excellent read.