The Prodigal Son

Written by Anna Belfrage
Review by Rachel Malone

Matthew Graham returns safely from his unexpected and unwanted stay in Virginia to find his beloved Scottish Lowlands torn apart by religious strife. A Presbyterian man, a follower of the faith to his very core, his way of life is threatened by the Stuart demand that all churches follow the Anglican regime. Harbouring friends that are Presbyterian ministers could cost him his life and attending meetings risks the noose. But can he sacrifice his faith?  Even when it puts his wife and family in danger?

The blurb doesn’t begin to express the complexity of this book. Alex Lind is Matthew Graham’s wife. More to the point though, she’s also someone out of her time. Quite literally, as Alex was ripped out of her time and back to the seventeenth century by a thunderstorm. The Prodigal Son is the third in the series, and I am immediately regretting not having read the previous two. Not because it was necessary to understand the third in the series, but simply because this book is so good! Having Alex as a time-traveller is a joy as it allows a little freedom with the language, it also allows for some good scenes with her telling the children stories about “four children, a wardrobe and a lion”.

While many of us cry at films, it’s not that often that you find a book that makes you cry in places, yet that’s exactly what happened with The Prodigal Son.

I absolutely lapped up this book, it was difficult to put down and a brilliantly enjoyable read.

One word of caution however, this book is not for the prudish as there are several explicit sex scenes. Even so, these are very well written and expose the love between the two main characters.

Anna Belfrage has an incredible way with words that bring her characters to life. They are so real, you know them. I can see I’m going to have to dip into my bank account to collect the rest of these books; I don’t see how I can do without them.

** Shortlisted for the 2014 HNS Indie Award **