5 out of 5 stars
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After graduating from primary school, Frank Sharp started working in the mines with his father and brothers. After Great Britain declared war against Germany, he joined the Forty-Second Blackwatch regiment by telling the recruiters he was 18. After the war ends, he returns to Scotland and marries his girlfriend, Margaret. With all the soldiers returning home, jobs became scarce, and many men could not provide for their families. Many Scotts, including Frank's parents, go to Canada and America, where jobs and free land are available. Leaving Margaret behind until he can find a job and a place to live, Frank decides to leave Burnt Island to join his parents, hoping to provide a better life for his family. Read The Man from Burnt Island by Wendy Sura Thomson to follow Frank's life journey.
I appreciate that Wendy Sura Thomson took the time at the beginning of the book to explain the Broad Scots dialect. One example is "Hawd yer wheesht," which means "be quiet." She also did a fantastic job describing the early 20th-century lifestyle where men supported the family while women cared for the home and raised the children. I did not like that the wives always deferred to the men and knew nothing about business or their husband's employment, but it was realistic for the era. I enjoyed the humor in the book. One instance was that Frank's real name was Robert, but his father was drunk when he named him and forgot he already had a son named Robert. It was interesting to learn how the Immigration Act and Johnson-Reed Act affected people who had already come to the United States but did not yet have citizenship. I enjoyed learning about Scottish culture. Scotland's New Year's Eve is called Hogmanay.
Other than male dominance and disrespect of women in the 20th century, Frank's ambition was the only other thing I was uncomfortable with. I felt he took it too far when he refused to get medical care for his family so he could save a few dollars. However, this fits nicely with the plot and did not affect the number of stars I gave in the rating.
The history of 20th-century Scotland, Canada, and the United States, the ethical and moral lessons, and the professional editing of this book justify a rating of 5 out of 5 stars. I found no reason to give this book a lower rating. I will advise the author to look at the formatting issues in the Kindle version of this book. These issues did not impact my rating because the few pages of the paperback sample did not show them.
Mature readers who are interested in how people lived in the early 20th century are the ones I recommend this book to. Historical fiction and romance fans will enjoy this book. The book's characters are Christians, making this book more suitable for those who believe in God. I will caution sensitive readers that there is a small amount of gory content and non-borderline profanity.
The Man from Burnt Island
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