The Countess and the Miner

Written by Olga Sinclair
Review by Marina Oliver

The peasant girl Irena is sent to Scotland for an arranged marriage to a miner employed by Lord Eveson, the husband of her fellow Lithuanian, Countess Anastasia. Days before her wedding Eveson rapes Irena, and she fears her child is his, and is afraid her husband, Duncan, will reject him. It’s the eve of WW1, Anastasia is caught in Russia and Duncan, serving there, vanishes. Irena is determined to find him.

The author creates vivid pictures of the perils of mining, the closeness of the small Lithuanian community, and the horrors of Russia just after the revolution. There are a variety of interesting characters, the plot is unusual, and highlights the struggles of poor immigrants far from home.