The Exile of Sara Stevenson
A Historical Novel
By Darci Hannah
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345520548, 400pp.)
Publication Date: July 27, 2010
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In 1814, Sara Stevenson, the well-bred but high-spirited daughter of celebrated Scottish lighthouse designer Robert Stevenson, falls in love with a common sailor, Thomas Crichton. On the day of their clandestine elopement, Thomas mysteriously disappears, leaving Sara heartbroken, secretly pregnant, and at the mercy of her overbearing family. Refusing to relinquish her hopes that Thomas will someday return to her, Sara is banished to an eerie lighthouse on lonely and remote Cape Wrath. There she meets William Campbell, the reclusive yet dashing light-keeper who incites her ire—and interest. Soon Sara begins to accept her life on the cape and her growing attraction to William—until a mystifying package from an Oxford antiquarian arrives, giving intriguing clues to Thomas’s whereabouts. Through her correspondence with the antiquarian, Sara slowly uncovers the story of her beloved’s fate. But what she doesn’t immediately grasp is that these letters travel an even greater distance than she could have imagined—as the boundaries between time and space unravel to forge an incredible connection between a woman and a man many years apart.
“This is a stunning debut: a haunting, extraordinary tale told by a born storyteller who combines humor, heartbreak, and real suspense.”—Bernard Cornwell, New York Times bestselling author of Agincourt
“An extremely original piece of storytelling with a thoroughly unique heroine.”—Deanna Raybourn, bestselling author of The Dead Travel Fast
“A haunting tale of timeless love. The vibrant voice of Hannah's heroine brings the lonely coast of Scotland very much to life, complete with the taste of oatcakes and the tang of smuggled claret. A surprising, rich, and rewarding novel.”—Lauren Willig, author of The Betrayal of the Blood Lily
“Darci Hannah's debut novel has something for everyone who is looking for romance, mystery, humor, historical detail, a feisty protagonist in Sara, and a stunning Scottish setting.”—Anne Easter Smith, author of The King’s Grace
“Like the gales that sweep over the desolate north coast of Scotland, The Exile of Sara Stevenson gathers force and delivers an atmospheric tale of love, passion, and loyalty. Like the lighthouse lamp at the symbolic center of the novel, details of the story that at first seem inconsequential or mysterious gather into one great beam of light, illuminating a conclusion that shows the power of love to transcend death and even time itself.”—Laurel Corona, author of The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi's Venice