The Lady of the Lakes by Josi S. Kilpack is the true love story of Sir Walter Scott, Scottish poet.
Walter Scott has three passions in his young life: Scotland, poetry, and Mina Stuart. Though she is young and they are from different stations in society, Walter is certain their love is meant to be. For years, he courts her through love letters and she is his raison d’être.
Walter Scott first spotted Miss Wilhelmina “Mina” Stuart following a Sunday church service and was immediately smitten. Since Mina was only 15 at the time, they grew their friendship for many years by letter and Mina’s seasonal visits to Walter’s hometown of Edinburgh. Walter is convinced that Mina is his one true love, but many obstacles stand in their way.
While Walter is a writer of the signet (a prestigious society of Scottish solicitors), he has a passion for poetry and aspires to a future as a publisher author and poet. He is also not of the same social class as Mina. As the years go by and Mina comes of age, Walter hopes to finally begin a serious courtship, but he has competition for Mina’s affections, and his hopes seem to rise and fall with the tides. Walter is not easily deterred though and spends years planning and working to create a future with Mina.
To complicate matters, his friend William Forbes has developed an affection for Mina and has all the advantages that Walter has not. And then on a trip to the lake country with his brother and a friend, Walter meets Miss Charlotte Carpenter—and the story takes a turn.
The Lady of the Lakes Review
The Lady of the Lakes is Josi S. Kilpack’s second historical novel based on the life a well-known author. I reviewed her first Forever and Forever here last year. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Ms. Kilpack’s writing is smooth and she is a master storyteller. Her characters are well-developed and she engages her readers from the first chapter. Once again, I found myself putting off other tasks to make more time for reading–always the mark of a good book for me.
Perhaps knowing it is based on the lives of real people adds to its appeal to me. I have always been a people watcher and love to know how people think and what motivates them. As much as I enjoy good fiction, I think knowing this novel is based on true events makes it even more interesting.
The book includes appendices with a timeline of Walter Scott’s life and courtships, a bibliography of Ms. Kilpack’s research sources and discussion questions, should you choose this for a book club offering (I would).