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Thorn in My Heart (Lowlands of Scotland #1)

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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  4,864 ratings  ·  356 reviews
Two brothers fight to claim one father’s blessing.
Two sisters long to claim one man’s heart.


In the autumn of 1788, amid the moors and glens of the Scottish Lowlands, two brothers and two sisters each embark on a painful journey of discovery.

Jamie and Evan McKie both want their father Alec’s flocks and lands, yet only one brother will inherit Glentrool. Leana and Rose McB
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ebook, 496 pages
Published December 24th 2008 by WaterBrook Press (first published January 1st 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ally (The Scribbling Sprite)
Let me begin by saying that I do agree with the description Goodreads has provided. A more thorny love triangle I have never seen or heard of, and there is almost more drama, deception, and jealousy in this book than I can bear. Oh, and there are many spirituals truths. I know, that last one didn't quite seem to fit, did it? But it's true, even though those little gems seemed to be buried under everything I didn't like about the book.

To put it simply, this story irked me. Yet the whole time I wa
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Rebecca Ellen
How I hate Leeana, let me count the ways...

When I picked up this trilogy I didn't know it was the story of the Biblical Jacob, but the author made it so obvious I picked up on this fact within a few paragraphs. Then I got excited because the love story of Jacob and Rachel is one of the most beautiful in the Bible. I still do not understand why the author chose to place the story in eighteenth century Scotland. The author was tediously paralleling Jacob's life in the beginning then heads into alt
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Trisha
Oh my goodness! This book was a slow start for me. My schedule was so busy when I started it that I was only able to read a chapter or two a night, and they are short chapters. I was really wondering if I was going to like this book at all, but about halfway through, I couldn't put it down. I was taking it with me everywhere, and reading a chapter before I went into wherever I was, and then another when I came out.(I came to really appreciate those short chapters!) I became very emotionally atta ...more
Squiggles{Kelly}
Nov 29, 2008 Squiggles{Kelly} rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone 12+
Recommended to Squiggles{Kelly} by: No one
It's hard for me to give this books five stars because I can't help thinking 'but I DIDN'T like it! It knots up my stomach just to think about it!' And that's the beauty of this series. They aren't sad it the Dicken's way - horrible people who terrorize and do brutal things- it's sad in a human way. There are no good people and there are no bad people. There are characters who make good choices and are caring and kind and there are people who are impulsive and selfish. Bad things happen and hear ...more
Laina
Well, I read this 400 and something page book in two days, so that says something about it. But I won't say it's the best book I've ever read. I described it to my mom as "pitiful." Sad... pitiful. I've never felt so sorry for a character. I loved the Scottish culture-- as I always do-- and Higgs definitely knew what she was talking about, which was nice. The main male character, Jamie, irked me incessantly. I felt like spitting in his face and calling him a lustful jerk. Of course he just went ...more
Colleen
Higgs is re-writing the story of Leah, Rachel and Jacob set in 18th century Scotland with the characters Leana, Rose and Jamie. I can understand what she was trying to do, but the setting and time period made it all such a stretch it just made me annoyed. I usually really enjoy historical fiction, but the two stories just weren't cohesive. Plus, I never really connected to the characters. I thought they were all pretty pathetic or irritating in one way or another. Just when I'd start to feel sym ...more
Ruth
I absolutely loved this book. Set in 18th century Scotland, I couldn't imagine a more romantic setting for a novel. As the plot unfolded, I discovered this was a modern retelling of Jacob in the Bible and of Leah and Rachel. By the time I finished the book, I came to realize this is Leah's story. Higgs does a remarkable job of putting us in Leah's shoes, in situations that quite possibly could have existed in the original.

I adored the Scottish vernacular everywhere throughout the dialogue and t
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Shannon
I felt like I was strung along and dropped off in disapointment. Some things were nice to think about but overall very very flawed characters doing things that no "christian" author should include in a book. Example: sister sneaking in to sleep with her sisters husband. Then it took forever to end. I have no plans of reading the seqel even though I already own it.
Amy
Whew! I had a hard time finishing this one. I really only enjoyed a few chapters near the end. I don't think it needed 77 of them! I can appreciate how it followed the Bible story-- maybe it made it too predictable for me. This book needed to be more succinct; maybe a little more substance and less fluff. Sorry:)
Carolyn  C.
May 27, 2010 Carolyn C. rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: High School and Above
Recommended to Carolyn by: Saw it at a store
This historical novel is the first in a series of three and takes place in the Scottish Lowlands in the 1700's. It is loosely based on the famous biblical account of Jacob, Leah and Rachel. I ran across the three books at a store and was first of all drawn in by the beautiful cover art; I then noticed that the third book had a Christy Award seal on the cover which means the author had won an award for Christian literature:) This made me hopeful that the book would not contain objectionable conte ...more
Erin
I rarely give a one. This book was pure torture though. You hope the guy will stop being stupid. You hope the one sister will stop letting people walk all over her. And you hope the other will stop being a spoiled brat. None of those things ever happen. And then you look at the summary for the next book and find out it continues! Yikes! I won't be reading it.
Nonners
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anne
Oct 19, 2010 Anne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mature teens and adults
I absolutely loved this book. It is a retelling of the old Bible story of Jacob and Rachael and her father Laban, only told in 18th century Scotland. Jamie and Evan, twins who are completely different are both wanting to inherit Gentrool, the family home. Much like in the Bible, Jamie, the younger and his mother's favorite, ends up getting his father's blessing and inherits the land. But his mother sends him to her brother Lachlan, to find a bride of one of his children, Rose and Leana.
One beaut
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Donna
This is what I would call a clean Christian book. There is no sex or foul language in the book and the characters frequently pray to the lord to be guided, forgiven, and redeemed.

I found the text in this book very immature for a reader or author of the 21st century. Characters are weak, dishonest, deceitful, and do not take responsibility for their actions. The descriptive writing that may win an A+ in a high school English class is boring, repetitious and tedious to follow.

The story line is a
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Anne
No where in the back of this book does it mention that the author uses the Biblical story of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel as the backbone of this novel. It's not just a hint of it either, it's a very obvious retelling of the story. Granted in the end she HAD to change the outcome because men were not allowed two wives in 1788 Scotland.
She did a fantastic job with the dialogue, substituting in the occassional old Scottish language.
The book grew interesting towards the end but I feel that the author sh
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joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire*
not as impressive as her later work, but entertaining enough for an afternoon.

LIKES:
*detailed and descriptive setting in 1700s scotland, including many celebrations, sayings, and customs
*retelling of a scriptural story (this one's jacob/rachel/leah) in a similar manner to the more common fairy tale adaptations
*the final third of the plot kept me up late reading! i had no idea how the author was going to make this work at all.

DISLIKES:
*several characters are quite difficult to like or respect
*at
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Kara
I wondered how Liz Curtis Higgs was going to manage to adapt the story of Jacob, Leah and Rachel to 18th century Scotland and she pulled it off beautifully! This book was a slow starter for me, I'm not sure why. It's beautifully written and eventful from the first page. I think it was just that I had a lot going on and not much time to read. It finally grabbed me not quite halfway through and I couldn't put it down! Definitely a heartwrencher. The characters are so vividly portrayed you really f ...more
Cynthia
Not much history/culture/or substance in this historical romance. I didn't really like this book, unfortunately I got the whole series (there's 4) of them so I'll try reading another one to see if they get any better.

The story is about Jamie who tricks his father into blessing him to inherit the family land and title. He leaves his home to find a wife and must choose between his two cousins. Of course the one he wants, Rose, at first doesn't want to be with him, and tries to push him on the olde
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Sheri
This book was such a disappointment. I read it closely on the heels of Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar (a book that I was pleasantly surprised by), so as another retelling of a well-read biblical story, I was expecting to enjoy this one as well.

Not so. The stories of Jacob and Esau, Rachel and Leah are not the happiest stories to begin with, but I really felt the author of this book took far to many liberties changing the actual base story. Instead of caring for any of them, I left with a bad
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Sandy
I didn't like it much at first, but it did hold my interest at the end. It also infuriated me because Leana loved Jamie, and would take his verbal abuse. Leana is a better woman than I. She was patient and was blessed for it too. Unfortunately, it is a series (thanks Stephanie!), and now I will have to read the next to see what happens. I didn't like Rose at all, so I wonder if in the next book she will "grow up". I loved the setting in Scotland, and the Scot's language. Aye, I do.
Katie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelly
This was such a let down. I didn't care at all for the characters. I thought for sure with a name like Jamie I was going to be all set. How wrong I was. I actually hated the whole premise of the story. I think it was more of the fact that I didn't connect with the characters. I wanted to like Leana really I did but could not. I didn't have a problem with Higgins writing style I may try another of hers someday.
Beth Withers
This is the first of a 4-book series on the McKie family of late 1700s Scotland. Higgs has mirrored the Biblical story of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah, even giving the characters names with the first initial of their Biblical counterparts. Because of this, it is not difficult to figure out what will happen, although I am curious as to how (or if) the main character is going to have 2 wives and 2 concubines! I appreciate the research behind the novel. It is obvious in the language and the feel of the ...more
Becky
Jul 13, 2008 Becky rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Becky by: Both of my sisters in the Midwest read this in their book clubs.
An interesting "modernizing" of the Jacob/Esau and Leah/Rachel story from the Bible. It takes place in late eighteenth century Scotland. Quite well written and cleverly done to stay true to the Bible story. A good summer "light" read. It is the beginning of a series. I liked it enough to finish the book, but I'm not going to read the next.
Elise
Well-written and immaculately researched, featuring a gorgeous setting effectively conveyed. I didn't fall desperately in love with the story or characters, though. Nonetheless, it was hard to put down, and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
Lisa
Apr 29, 2009 Lisa rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Jenny
Although I thought the Biblical allusion to Jacob, Rachel, and Leah was interesting, I found the characters a bit irritating, whiny, and immature. The plot flowed easily, making the book a quick read. The Scottish setting also added to the charm of the book.
Heather
I really had a torn experience with this book. Caused a lot of anxiety and seeing that it is a retailing of a bible story and i am not sure where she can go from hear and be accepted i have great desire to read the next yet feel crazy with the idea!
Evangheline Farcas
You will laugh, cry and never stop turning the pages until you reach the end.. I highly recommend all of Liz Curtis Higs books, they will take you to a wonderful world with her clear descriptions and relatable characters.
Betty
I love stories based on Scottish history but this one was just too much fluff. I won't read the rest of the series.
Sheila Thonen
Liz accomplishes an amazing feat as she weaves a story line that retells the Jacob, Leah, and Rachel saga. So many questions plague one's mind when reading the account in Genesis, yet she tailors a story that helps to dot I's and cross T's. I fell in love with the sisters (Leana and Rose) and then enters Jamie. The storyline catapults the reader into such despair about who should win the heart of handsome Jamie, heir to Glentrool. This book caused me to stay up all night....then to my happy summ ...more
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More books like this? 10 43 Aug 07, 2013 04:46PM  
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Former Bad Girl, grateful for the grace God offers. Happy wife of Bill, one of the Good Guys. Proud mom of two grown-up kids with tender hearts. Lame housekeeper. Marginal cook. Pitiful gardener. Stuff I love? Encouraging my sisters in Christ—across the page, from the platform, online, in person. Unpacking Scripture. Traveling wherever God leads. Listening to his heart. Leaning into his embrace.
More about Liz Curtis Higgs...

Other Books in the Series

Lowlands of Scotland (4 books)
  • Fair Is the Rose (Lowlands of Scotland, #2)
  • Whence Came a Prince (Lowlands of Scotland, #3)
  • Grace in Thine Eyes (Lowlands of Scotland, #4)
Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn from Them Whence Came a Prince (Lowlands of Scotland, #3) Fair Is the Rose (Lowlands of Scotland, #2) Grace in Thine Eyes (Lowlands of Scotland, #4) Here Burns My Candle (Here Burns My Candle, #1)

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