Monday, February 1, 2010

Island Of The Swans by Ciji Ware

In Island Of The Swans, Ciji Ware follows the life of Jane Maxwell.  Born into genteel poverty, the daughter of a minor noble, Jane is a tomboy who lives to escape the strict rules of her upbringing and indulge in madcap adventures.  She is joined by her sisters and a neighbor boy, Thomas Fraser.  As Jane grows, she is forced to become more ladylike and respectable.  She grows into a raving beauty, and her job is to make an advantageous marriage that will help out the family fortunes.

Jane catches the eye of Alexander Gordon, the fourth Duke of Gordon.  Her heart belongs to her childhood friend, Thomas, but he has gone to America to help the Crown settle the country.  When news of his death gets back to England, Jane agrees to marry Alex. 

But word of Thomas' death was premature, and he returns to England time and again over the decades.  Jane is caught between her marriage and children with Alex, and her lifelong love of Thomas.  Which man will win out and keep Jane for his own?

Ciji Ware has created a gorgeous tapestry of the time period, woven around the love conflicts of Jane Maxwell Gordon, fourth Duchess of Gordon.  She weaves in information about the politics of England at the time, famous men, Scottish dancing, poetry, food, and the state of women's status.  This is a glorious book and is recommended for lovers of historical romances. 

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