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Literature / Lowlands of Scotland Series

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Lowlands of Scotland is a four book series by Liz Curtis Higgs, retelling the biblical story of Jacob, Leah, Rachel, and Dinah, set in the late-1700s Scottish lowlands. The series manages to stay remarkably close to the original story without taking liberties with historical accuracy; Higgs did a lot of research before writing the books, and it shows.

The series includes the following books:

  • Thorn in My Heart: Primarily follows Leona; the book starts with Jamie and Evan's birth and ends with the birth of Leona's first child.
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  • Fair is the Rose: Primarily follows Rose; the book covers the tumultuous adjustment to the events of the previous book.
  • Whence Comes a Prince: Primarily follows Jamie; the book traces Jamie's decision to return home and the growth of his family.
  • Grace in Thine Eyes: Primarily follows Davina, Jamie's daughter; the book recounts the most difficult and life-changing summer of her life.

Because this page is about the whole series, be aware that discussion of later books may spoil plot points from earlier books. Also, general plot points which carry over from the biblical account are not marked as spoilers.


These books contain examples of:

  • Adaptation Inspiration: Lowlands of Scotland is based on a biblical story, but they are very much modern novels, with all the setting details and character development and intricacies of plot that that implies.
  • Bed Trick: A completely unintentional one by Leona: she doesn't realize Jamie is drunk and thinks she's Rose until after the bedding is done.
  • Bride and Switch: One that was intentional on Logan's part, but not entirely intentional on Leona's side. As Rose has been delayed from reaching her own wedding by a storm, Leona stands in as her proxy. That night, Logan persuades Leona to visit Jamie in his bedchamber, hoping to get her married to Jamie, leaving Rose single. Convinced by her father's silver tongue that Jamie does actually desire her rather than Rose, Leona goes to Jamie and they have sex. Unfortunately, Jamie was three sheets to the wind and thought she was Rose, which Leona doesn't realize until after it's too late. Later, but before Rose arrives home, Logan goes to the Church Council and convinces them that Jamie had changed his mind about which sister he wanted to marry and was simply too impatient to wait for new wedding banns, persuading them to declare him legally married to Leona rather than Rose.
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  • Jacob and Esau: It's based on Jacob's story, so what else would you expect? Jamie is the more genteel, thoughtful, and sly brother who is close to and favored by their mother; Evan is the rougher, tougher, blunt hunter who is closer to and favored by their father. They have all the Sibling Rivalry of the originals, too.
  • Kissing Cousins: Rose and Leona are Jamie's first cousins—and he ends up married to both of them (not at the same time).
  • Sibling Triangle: Rose and Leona both fall for Jamie after he arrives at their father's home. However, Jamie only has eyes for Rose, until he accidentally ends up married to Leona and learns to love her. And then he has to learn to love Rose all over again.
  • Timeskip: Sixteen and a half years pass between the end of the third book and the start of the fourth.
  • Unwanted Spouse: Jamie's initial reaction to the Church Council's decision that he is legally married to Leona is to ignore her completely. Then, after he has grown to love Leona and the Council reverses their decision and declares him married to Rose, he treats her very ungraciously instead.
  • Wedlock Block: Logan initially opposes Jamie's desire to marry Rose, asserting that Leona, as the elder sister, should be married first.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The first three books closely follow the story of Jacob; the fourth is an equally faithful adaptation of the story of Dinah, Jacob's daughter.

Alternative Title(s): Thorn In My Heart, Fair Is The Rose, Whence Comes A Prince, Grace In Thine Eyes, Lowlands Of Scotland