Fiction Book Reviews

Historical Fiction | The Unreliable Death of Lady Grange | Sue Lawrence

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We’re delighted to be on the Love Books Group tour sharing Laura’s thoughts on The Unreliable Death of Lady Grange by Sue Lawrence which is based on a true story.

Book cover for The Unreliable Death of Lady Grange by Sue Lawrence

The Unreliable Death of Lady Grange by Sue Lawrence is published by Contraband is available to purchase in paperback format.

Edinburgh, January 1732: It’s Lady Grange’s funeral. Her death is a shock: still young, she’d shown no signs of ill health. But Rachel is, in fact, alive. She’s been brutally kidnapped by the man who has falsified her death – her husband of 25 years, a pillar of society with whom she has raised a family. Her punishment, perhaps, for railing against his infidelity – or for uncovering evidence of his treasonable plottings against the government. Whether to conceal his Jacobite leanings, or simply to `replace’ a wife with a long-time mistress, Lord Grange banishes Rachel to the remote Hebridean Monach Isles, until she’s removed again to distant St Kilda, far into the Atlantic – to an isolated life of primitive conditions, with no shared language – somewhere she can never be found. This is the incredible and gripping story of a woman who has until now been remembered mostly by her husband’s unflattering account. Sue Lawrence reconstructs a remarkable tale of how the real Lady Grange may have coped with such a dramatic fate, with courage and grace.


I loved this historical novel.

The Unreliable Death of Lady Grange was fascinating, entertaining and I found it to be an addictive read.  

Set in Scotland during the 1730’s it begins with the funeral of Lady Grange, which left her children, especially Mary, distraught as their mother seemed to be in the best of health.  

This book follows different characters during the kidnapping of Rachel Grange; Rachel, her husband James, their daughter Mary and several other characters including servants.

Lady Grange still traumatized by her childhood liked to drink and her husband documented this vice and used against her. He struggled with her highly strung and motivated character but also her knowledge of his political affairs.  

Rachel is taken on a difficult journey without her usual luxuries and finds herself trapped on the Monarch Islands where she finds primitive people lacking in colour and clarity.

Although Rachel came from a privileged background I enjoyed how the author portrayed her to be a strong, resilient character who in fact thrives in her new surroundings and supports the islanders with her own knowledge of local plants and flowers.  

A captivating read and one I am sure to remember.

Jera's Jamboree

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Author image Sue Lawrence

As well as writing popular historical thrillers, including Down to the Sea, Sue Lawrence is a leading cookery writer. After winning BBC’s MasterChef in 1991, she became a regular contributor to the Sunday Times, Scotland on Sunday and other leading magazines. Raised in Dundee, she now lives in Edinburgh. She has won two Guild of Food Writers Awards. Twitter @SueHLawrence

Jera's Jamboree has been around for 9+ years. I'm qualified as a Sleep Consultant, Dyslexia Therapist, Reiki Master, Mental Health First Aider and Mindfulness Practitioner. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind.

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