I adore historical fiction/romance. I always have. I have found, though, that sometimes it can be hard to find good lesbian-centered historical fiction. There are some authors out there who have written some great novels in this genre, but not that many. Thankfully I’ve now found another author I can add to that list.
My Heart’s in the Highlands by Amy Hoff is a wonderful historical fiction novel set in two different time periods in Scotland. The main character, Lady Jane Crichton, one of the Edinburgh Seven uses a time machine that she has invented to travel back in time to the year 1292. She winds up in the Scottish Highlands where she meets Ainslie nic Domhnaill, the future chief of her clan. Thus begins an adventure that could possibly change the world and history as well.
Ms. Hoff has woven a beautiful story perfectly into the history of Scotland and especially the Highlands for both of these time periods. While the romance and the story of Jane and Ainslie are fictional, there is much historical fact here as well. For instance, The Edinburgh Seven really existed. This was a group of women who were the first women to be educated as doctors in Great Britain only to be denied their rightful degrees by the University of Edinburgh. In real life those degrees were finally awarded to the Group of Seven in the 1990’s, long after they had passed away. Also, several of the secondary characters in the novel are people who actually existed in real life. Much of the plot is based on what would be normal for the two time periods. The author is also kind enough to give a brief history lesson at the end of the novel with information about the two time periods as well as information on the languages you will see and hear in the story. Don’t worry, you can figure out much of the Gaelic words by how they are used in sentences, but there is help at the end of the book if you want more info.
I totally immersed myself in this tale. I loved the characters and the settings. Everything felt so real. Even the time travel from one time to another fit right into the story. It is in my favorites list, and I will be looking for much more from this author.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bella Books for an honest review.