My Hearts in the Highlands

And the Lowlands and Borders and Islands....

The strongest, most endearing theme in DES's books is that of
Scotland as the place of the heart.
Nearly all of D. E. Stevenson's over 40 books have at least some scenes set in Scotland. Her protagonists head north in times of loneliness and crisis, to return home when life throws goes awry or to seek a period of rest. They may discover a whole new set of friends and a quieter truer way of life, and sometimes a loving family. And even love.
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A refuge from the storms of life

Scotland is always there, waiting for a DES character to find tranquility and support among the hills of the north.
Listening Valley, Rinehart 1944
Listening Valley
1944

When trouble comes, Tonia flees the London Blitz and interfering relatives and returns to Scotland, not to her parents' home in Edinburgh, but the old house in Ryddleton (Moffat) she inherited from her Nannie.

Rochester's Wife, Collins, 1940, 1971
Rochester's Wife
1940

Mardie's life in an English village is torn apart, so she takes the train back to her home in Kilnocky, in the Lowlands of Scotland, where Hoonie is waiting to look after her. She travels with her friend Dolly and Dolly's nephew Jem, who see that Scotland is a whole different world.

Bel Lamington Fontana 1964
Bel Lamington
1960

Bel has spent all her life living and working in the south of England and London. But when her ordered life falls apart, she accepts an invitation to join her friends the Armstrongs on a holiday in Drumburly, Scotland, and finds new friends and a new job.

Smouldering Fire 1935, Rinehart 1938
Smouldering Fire
1935

Linda Medworth is reeling from the scandal of a highly publicised divorce, but she finds escape when a kind-hearted stranger, Mrs. Hetherington-Smith, spirits Linda and her son Richard away from the limelight to the isolated highlands of Scotland.


Young Mrs. Savage
1948

After years of enduring war and then widowhood in the south of England, Dinah Savage has the glorious opportunity to return with her four children (not too many) to her childhood home in Seatown, on the east cost of Scotland, lodging with her old Nanny. She and the children and her twin brother Dan have a wonderful holiday and make plans for a new life together. Seatown is based on North Berwick, where DES and her family and cousins spent many a wonderful childhood holiday.


The Blue Sapphire
1963

Julia is enjoying her new independence in London, with a congenial job, her own flat and two new friends: Stephen, the mining engineer just home from South Africa, and her landlady, May, who is as unusual as her house.

But a letter from her heretofore unknown uncle sends her north to Scotland, and changes her life in unexpected ways.


Spring Magic
1942

When Frances Field is bombed out of her aunt and uncle's house in Wintringham Square, London, she takes the chance to escape her dreary, pointless life and flee to Cairn, Scotland (because she saw a painting of it once at a gallery). Here she makes new friends and finds purpose to her life.


Charlotte Fairlie
1954

Charlotte Fairlie is headmistress of St. Elizabeth's School (which numbers a variety of DES heroines among its alumnae). She's good at her job and likes it, but she feels lonely, isolated by her position. Come summer, she accepts an invitation to visit the home of one of her students, Tessa MacRhynne, on the amazing island of Targ, off the west coast of Scotland. Now a whole new world opens up to her.

Also published as The Enchanted Isle and Blow the Wind Southerly .


Sarah Morris Remembers
1967

Sarah Morris, a daughter of the vicarage, lives in Fairfield, in England. She has happy memories of visiting her grandparents in Scotland, along with her mother Dorrie, who always took her annual holiday in Ryddleton. Sarah's life takes her to France, and then to London during the Blitz. At the end of the war, when she receives a devastating emotional blow, she returns to the peace of Scotland.


The Tall Stranger
1957

After Barbie France recovers from a long, mysterious illness, and a slight unpleasantness over a broken engagement, she returns to her job as a decorator. Her first assignment is to head to an old Scottish castle, where she makes new friends and rediscovers a man she once met, whom she never forgot.


Anna and her Daughters
1958

When Anna is widowed, she finds her husband, supposedly a good businessman, left his family with scarcely any money to live on. So she sells the London house and returns with her three nearly grown daughters to the town of Ryddleton, Scotland, to reclaim her roots and friends and family.

 


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