Book Review: Bride of the MacHugh by Author Jan Cox Speas

Book Review: Bride of the MacHugh by Author Jan Cox Speas

I first bought and read this book more than 40 years ago. I loved it then and I loved it yesterday when I took the book off my book shelves to read again. My hubby says I have read this book at least four times that he is aware of and probably more. It’s that good, I tell him and you!

The story is set in the Scottish Highlands in 1614. It tells the story of Elspeth Lamond, born in Scotland and raised in England. A favorite at Queen Anne's court, she promises her dying mother she will journey to Scotland to visit her mother's clan. During her travel, she is abducted by the MacHughs and taken to the castle where she was born. She meets her father Robert Lamond for the first time and his ally, Sir Alexander MacHugh, Chief of Clan MacHugh.

The plot and subplots will draw you into this exciting tale. There is love. There is war. And there is the overall desire for freedom not only from Elspeth but also from the clans in their battle of independence against the Campbells and King James’s control of Scotland.

About the Author

Jan Cox Speas (1925–1971) is a short story writer and novelist born in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1925. She studied creative writing with Hiram Haydn at Woman's College (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, or UNCG), from which she graduated in 1945. From 1954 to 1960 she published Bride of the MacHugh, My Lord Monleigh, and My Love, My Enemy. She also published many short stories in magazines, from pulp to slick. She returned to UNC-G and secured her master's degree in Fine Arts in 1964, submitting her fourth novel The Growing Season as her thesis. Her mentor and advisor was noted poet Randall Jarrell. After graduation, she began teaching English and Creative Writing at Guilford College, also in Greensboro. Speas was well known for her historical romances during the 1950s and 1960s.

Following her death from a heart attack in 1971, Avon Publications brought out paperback editions of her romances. By 1978 there were more than a million copies of her books in print. The author was married to John Speas; they lived in Greensboro and had two children, Cynthia and Gregory.

For more information, visit this website.


About the Reviewer

My hubby and I were missionaries in the 70’s and 80’s raising money for Bibles, New Testaments, Book of John, paper, ink and helped set up a couple of print shops in churches. We traveled with our 2 small boys with our base here in Texas.

With our family grown and grand-children galore, we live in west-central Texas with a barn full of critters enjoying the country life.

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You can read Eve’s column on the 2nd Monday each month here at Pandora’s Box Gazette.

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