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on 19 April 2014
The heroine of this interesting novel is a modern woman's woman, Alex Graham: a women who has fallen through time back into 17th century Scotland taking with her a love of cosmetics, chocolate bars and pool-side vacations. Being a resourceful girl, Alex devises ways round these absences by creating her own herbal oils and a natural swimming pool in a nearby burn. The concept of living out of one's time is dealt with convincingly. Alex has a modern take on what is going on around her, but also accepts and negotiates the difficiluties and dangers of the period, when there was almost none of the medical knowledge and basic education we take for granted. This is a heroine to respect, to admire and empathise with. So when tragedy hits we feel the terrible sadness and, like Alex Graham, want justice. Justice in those days, however, was in the hands of a few high-ranking males - something Alex cannot change.
The underlying theme in this novel is the limitations of real choice within the concept of 'free will'. Having not read any of the author's previous novels in this series, I do not know if Alex can choose to go back to her previous existence, but I suspect she would prefer to stay with her 17th century husband, Matthew, who despite causing her great worry through his religious allegencies, is in every way a wonderful husband. As a reader I wanted to know more about the origins of the relationship; how they came to fall in love. In many respects I wanted this novel to be a 'stand-alone' - it has a fascinating plot and convincing characters, but itseemed the author was holding back, not giving too much information - perhaps assuming her readers already knew the secondary characters and the established family situation. This is a great story, but it may be better to start at the beginning of the series.
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on 27 May 2014
The Prodigal Son is the third book in the Graham Saga. Not having read the previous books I was constantly wondering what had happened previously and how this very modern young woman had arrived in 17th century Scotland. Although she longs for certain creature comforts from her previous life, she seems to have adapted very well to the hard life of a farmer's wife and mother of numerous children. I think I would have preferred to have had more details of the background to the religious dissent at the time in the story itself rather than as an addendum. It is a well written and fast moving story, with plenty of love scenes. I would recommend however that the reader start at book one to fully appreciate the complete saga of this family.
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on 26 February 2014
Here we have a tale where a time transported strong woman meets the 17th century and the 17th century just doesn't know what's hit it. Our heroine is out in her third sojourn in this tale, which can standalone, but in the midst of so much entangled in the history of one person and her family might be perceived with greater dimension when encompassed as part of the entire tale.

Alex has come from the future and met a man fully immersed in his own time. The strength of their love story and the building of their family in this time is the story. The surrounding tale of the Scottish Covenanters is nearly secondary, for the struggle of a woman convincing her man that deep seated moral cares become secondary to real fears for the protection and succor of ones family could take place in many settings. The time is not as intrinsic to the plot as is the story of the family and as the subtitle relays, it is the story of the Graham's their saga.

We see this also in that the love between our hero and heroine are present from the beginning of the tale, the subplot of the Covenanters only mildly brought forth, even though it returns and returns, it is never as epic to us as the tale of the interactions of husband and wife. That alone is enough to keep the pages turning. The area where I might fault this, is in the heroine using more modern input to increase the strength of her family. Whether that is a knowledge of history, or technology, little of that is present beyond some adherence to a change in diet and an adherence to cleanliness. Some of my favorite tales are those where an uptime brings knowledge to that previous time and aids themselves and the people there with the changes they can bring. Our heroine seems little inclined to add her knowledge to aid her husband's farm.

Aside from that, one can read the Prodigal Son and become rapt up in the tale of Alex and her family, wanting to quickly discover what has come before and what is to come after if not already a fan of the series. Ms. Belfrage creates a strong woman who loves life, her husband and her children, not necessarily in that order. Strong enough that this is a heroine you'll want to meet and get to know better.
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on 14 August 2013
The Prodigal Son is a great story even if you haven't read the first two books in the series. I thought starting a story in the middle of a series would be difficult to follow, but I was pleasantly surprised.
The story continues to follow time traveller Alex but does not back track enough to occupy the book distract the reader. Now based in the seventeenth century, her marriage to Matthew is complicated but not enough to make the story farfetched and unbelievable. The author deliberately introduces each character carefully without too much detail that it would not put off a reader who has enjoyed the previous books, but also allows the first time reader to understand the past. The storyline does refer to a situation which you would find in the present day which is what made me want to know more.
The characters were very well written and the story was fast paced, making it a quick easy read. The historical nature of the book will attract those who like a historical novel but will not deter those who do not want a "fact packed" novel. Congratulations to Anna on a great read!
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VINE VOICEon 6 April 2014
This timeslip series by Anna Belfrage is one to savour and enjoy. Each story is a stand-alone, but I would recommend starting at the beginning and working your way through - you've a delight in store!
Some series start off well then fade away with each new 'chapter'. Not this one! Actually, I'd say the opposite!
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on 9 January 2014
We are proud to announce that The Prodigal Son by Anna Belfrage is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!
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