A Shackled Inheritance by Madeleine McDonald (Book Review)


Spinster Abigail Carrick faces a frugal existence in dour Scotland—until her father’s will reveals she has two unknown half-sisters. Free women of color, they will share her inheritance of a sugar plantation in the Caribbean. Against all advice, Abigail crosses the ocean to meet them. Fellow passenger Euan Sinclair offers her welcome encouragement. As their friendship deepens, the young lawyer is torn between attraction to Abigail and his loathing of slavery. His principles also clash with his duty, for his legal mission is delicate and he dare not fail. Fate throws the slave owner and the abolitionist together, on an island gripped by rumors of a slave revolt. When Euan meets Abigail’s family, will her alluring sister Desiree steal him from her?

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

Let me begin this review stating I give props to Madeleine for depicting the harshness and hardness of a slave’s life. To see anyone abused, mistreated in any decade, at any age, is unthinkable and deplorable. I can’t fathom how someone can treat another person so cruelly. Despicable! 
You know what else is despicable? A vast majority of the characters in A Shackled Inheritance
Euan: His behavior towards Abigail after he met Desiree, the sister, was piggish. He saw a beautiful woman and suddenly the woman he expressed having “more” with is pushed to the farthest reaches of his mind. Euan is a louse. 
Abigaai: I wasn’t too fond of her either. She, like Desiree, seemed too consumed with money.
Desiree: She was a vile, human being. 
Their 1/2 brother, Jericho, was no better. His only saving grace was his love and devotion to Rosie. Theirs, too. 
That poor, sweet child deserved more than what life dealt her. 
As you can surmise, this book was extremely difficult for me to read because it was absolutely depressing to read. 
At least it ended on a HEA so that’s something. 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5
Score: ❤1/2


Madeleine McDonald has been a voracious reader since childhood. Her early career took her to France, where she lived in the Dreyeckland, the three-cornered land where France meets Germany and Switzerland. Life on the border sparked an interest in the region’s history and tangled loyalties. Conflicted loyalties have been a theme running through her short stories and longer fiction.

Blog Link


Filed under Uncategorized

5 Responses to A Shackled Inheritance by Madeleine McDonald (Book Review)

  1. Tianna

    Life’s depressing enough, think I’ll pass

    • Kam Brook

      Madeleine and I discussed my review this morning. I’d like to share her thoughts on my review with you and then my response back to her.

      (Madeleine to me):
      Slavery was abhorrent, and it’s almost impossible for someone living now to understand that it was accepted as the norm. In the 1790s, English and Scottish abolitionists published pamphlets asking people to boycott sugar and rum. As you can imagine, these provoked a lot of debate, but the boycott did not succeed. Sorry you thought Desiree vile, to me she is the most interesting character, someone who is desperate to escape her destiny. Realistically, the only future open to free women of colour was to acquire a protector and squirrel away as much money as possible against the day when the man tired of them. Thank God we have choices in the 21st century.

      (My reply to her):
      I understand the history behind those dreadful times but I feel readers need a shining star, someone who gives them hope, in a story. In darken times, then and now, we seek light …

    • Yes I live to read happy books!!!!


  2. Thanks for your time reading it and giving an honest opinion. Yes, slavery was vile, depressing and accepted by most people. However, by the end of the 18th century the abolitionist movement was making its voice heard, petitioning Parliament and calling for a boycott of sugar and rum. By the end of my book, Euan vows to dedicate his free time to fighting slavery. His wish would come true in 1833 – only 23 years after I set the events in my book. In parallel, free people of colour in the West Indies conducted their own form of resistance, sometimes refusing to pay tax until promised greater equality. So change was happening, and hope was on the horizon. Madeleine

    • Kam Brook

      Admittedly, this book isn’t for everyone. Most, like Tianna above, are seeking joy, happiness, something that brings a smile to their face. With the news and the world appearing to crumble around us, I find myself and most readers are looking to be uplifted when they escape into a book. True, there are those who venture to horror, mystery, more somber reads. With that said, there is a market for this historical book. However, for me, I want to walk away from a book relaxed, smiling, and looking forward to better times ahead. Unfortunately, A Shackled Inheritance had the adverse effect. Sorry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.