Friday, September 24, 2010

Book Review: Scapegallows

I read Carol Birch's Scapegallows at Lake of The Woods in the beginning of the month. I enjoyed the book, but it didn't leave me with much of a "lasting impression". I have read 2 1/2 books since then, and I should have written this review sooner.

Scapegallows is the story of Margaret Cathchpole  (a real person I might add), a woman brought up in Suffolk, England in the late 1700s. Her family, while not quite poor, is not well off and have ties to the smuggling world. Margaret's -shall we say beau- Will Laud, is a smuggler, and as such, his is a life of crime. When Will is forced to leave the country, Margaret becomes a servant for the Cobbolds, a very wealthy family, developing an almost friendship with the young mistress of the house. When Will is arrested, Margaret rushes to his aid, but to do so, she steals a horse from the Cobbolds  and attempts to sell it, a crime for which she is sentenced to hang. While she manages to escape, Will is shot dead, and she is yet again sentenced to hang. For a second time, Margaret manages to escape this fate, but in the end is sent to with other convicts to live in Australia.

While it may seem that I have ruined the story for you, this is essentially the same information you get on the back of the book (if like me you are so inclined to read that part). I enjoyed reading this book but I don't have too much more to say about it to be honest with you. Again, I should have written this review sooner! If you like historical fiction, fiction based on an actual person, or stories where people are sentenced to death for stealing a horse, then I recommend this book .

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