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by Andrew Drummond

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a witty fantasy novel inspired by the true story of the unfortunate Lady Grange, who was abducted from Edinburgh in 1732 and held at various remote Scottish island locations until her death in 1745. It is also a satire on Edinburgh in the forenoon of the Scottish Enlightenment.

The year is 1739, the place the island of Hirta. The Cherub of Desire, whose Dominion encompasses the Hebrides, is persuaded to take letters from Rachel Chiesley, Lady Grange, to her friends in Edinburgh. In the course of her sojourn in Scotland, the Cherub encounters various distinguish personages, ardent and eccentric poets, lawyers, delinquent Lords, ruffians and a resourceful swan. She learns of ambitious schemes for the improvement of the œconomy of her Dominion and the creation of a grand gowf-course. Following the loss of her vessel The Sterculia as a result of a stramash in Stirling, she and her attendant angels are obliged to raise funds for its replacement by establishing a place of adult entertainment in one of the lofty tenements of Edinburgh.

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