I just finished one of the best books I’ve read in 2016, written by my all-time favorite author Michael Phillips. This story will hold a treasured place on my bookshelf, as well as in my heart, always. What book am I referring to? Well, it is the second in a Bethany House series called the “Secrets of the Shetlands”, which began in May 2016 with “The Inheritance”. The newest installment, which I just finished reading, is called “The Cottage”. Finally, the series will be wrapped up next summer with “The Legacy”. (And I can’t wait!) Each of these books is very closely interwoven, and picks up almost immediately after the previous book comes to a close.
So many aspects of this book draw readers in, and hold them there until the end. The isolated, mysterious, almost magical Scottish setting is woven throughout the story, and almost becomes a “character” in its own right. The people-characters who inhabit the Scottish isle of Whales Reef are three dimensional, and work through both external disasters and internal dilemmas in realistic, thought-provoking ways. Throughout the story the characters from the present reflect the struggles of their ancestors, whose often-parallel history is also revealed through fascinating peeks into the past. In this way, the importance of generational legacies is explored and pondered with intriguing depth, while simultaneously each primary character’s personal relationship with God is developed individually. The result is captivating!
I hope I have given a sampling of the many timeless treasures “The Cottage” contains. However, while it unquestionably contains deep insight into faith and legacies, it also contains a gripping and compelling storyline that is both exciting and unexpected. I have read many novels in my lifetime, but I can honestly say that very few authors can combine spiritual reflection, enchanting setting, and riveting plot quite as expertly as Michael Phillips. For this reason, I recommend his books to readers of all ages and interests. Although I have immensely enjoyed almost every one of his many stories in the past, the “Secrets of the Shetlands” may just be the best yet. Don’t miss “The Cottage”, unless, of course, you have not yet read “The Inheritance”… In which case, you need to read them both as soon as possible!
P.S. For dedicated fans of Michael Phillips’ novels, “The Cottage” contains several subtle references to other stories he has previously written. For those reading with their eyes and ears open, references to Stonewycke, Heathersleigh Hall, and several other stories are certain to prove a delightful surprise!
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”
Coming Summer 2017: “The Legacy”