A Noble Cunning by Patricia Bernstein

 This book captured my attention from the first dramatic scene in which Covenanters raid the Countess of Clarencefield's Scottish manor, terrifying her and the children. Elegantly written, it features a courageous Catholic heroine, her handsome husband, and a group of minor, but interesting women friends, such as her strange sister Aelwen, and her maid Lucy, who help her. Although they are wealthy, well-educated aristocrats, the Glentaggarts are Catholic in a time of persecution of Catholics. The usurper, George 1 (who has brouight two mistresses with him) is on the throne, and the family are Jacobites who want to restore the rightful Stuart dynasty. When Gavin joins the battle to fight for James III's accession, Bethan Glentaggart stays home to look after the children. She soon receives news that he is in prison facing execution, however. Can she save him?

I loved this novel. Patricia Bernstein fills her book with intricate details of life in the 18th century, and has obviously researched the period extremely well. I also liked the fact that her heroine is not only Christian, but Catholic, because so many novelists make a point of being anti-Catholic today. There are many Catholic prayers, Latin sayings and literary allusions included in this multi-layered novel, an historical note, and an excellent bibliography for those who want to read more, 

I won this ebook through the Early Reviewers at LibraryThing.


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