The Exile of Sara Stevenson

Buy Now

The Exile of Sara Stevenson

A Historical Novel

Sara Stevenson’s family is considered fairly wealthy by 1814 standards. Her father is a well known and respected builder, he even build at lighthouse where no one that one could be built! Sara, though, has her own mind and her own standards which is how she fell in love with common sailor, Thomas Crichton.

Thomas comes from a poor family. He has little schooling but is a very knowledgeable sailor. He knows that he is not good enough for Sara but during a voyage around Scotland he finds that he loves her. Surprisingly, Sara loves him back which leads to secret meetings and the planning of an elopement.

Sara’s father is livid. He has someone much more rich and connected for Sara. He’ll take care of Thomas and then surely Sara will fall in line with his plans. He doesn’t expect Sara to inform everyone that she is pregnant.

She is quickly sent to the remote lighthouse in Cape Wrath with her lady’s maid, Anne and Anne’s husband. There she waits for the birth of her baby and for Thomas. She learns how to do common daily chores and how to live in the harsh highlands of Scotland.

When a watch Sara bought for Thomas appears with a letter saying a different Crichton had it on him when he died, Sara begins a life changing correspondence, for not only herself but for the writer at the other end.

This debut novel of Darci Hannah is an excellent start to what appears to be a very promising writing career. Though this book starts very slow, to the point I was just about to put it down, it eventually picks up and slowly drags the reader into its grip. Once that happened, I didn’t want to put this festinating story down. I was sure that it was going to have as unique ending as the story was developing to be, and it did.

This is Sara’s story and it’s point of view is Sara’s. It is written in the first person and only gives Sara’s feelings and views.

The character of Sara is extremely well developed. You begin to see her motives and desires. The love between Sara and Thomas becomes tangible and real. Her emotions are expressive. The other characters aren’t as well developed though they could not be considered one dimensional or flat.

The harsh lifestyle of the extreme highlands is described so you can understand the hardships those that live there had to endure. Things are not held back and while not always pretty, it was a way to survive.

Overall, I enjoyed this book after about the first 50 or 60 pages. It had to grow on me. There are several unique and different twists as this story goes along which surprised me as the story was very good before these twists. Some of these twists had me thinking about several different types of scenarios. And with 100 years between the beginning and the end, there is plenty that may have you raising questions.

Book Blurb for The Exile of Sara Stevenson

In 1814, Sara Stevenson, the well-bred but high-spirited daughter of celebrated Scottish lighthouse designer Robert Stevenson, falls in love with a common sailor, Thomas Crichton. On the day of their clandestine elopement, Thomas mysteriously disappears, leaving Sara heartbroken, secretly pregnant, and at the mercy of her overbearing family. Refusing to relinquish her hopes that Thomas will someday return to her, Sara is banished to an eerie lighthouse on lonely and remote Cape Wrath. There she meets William Campbell, the reclusive yet dashing light-keeper who incites her ire—and interest. Soon Sara begins to accept her life on the cape and her growing attraction to William—until a mystifying package from an Oxford antiquarian arrives, giving intriguing clues to Thomas’s whereabouts. Through her correspondence with the antiquarian, Sara slowly uncovers the story of her beloved’s fate. But what she doesn’t immediately grasp is that these letters travel an even greater distance than she could have imagined—as the boundaries between time and space unravel to forge an incredible connection between a woman and a man many years apart.

Night Owl Reviews Sep, 2010 4.25