Having recently read ‘Treasure Island’ again, I was already enjoying the wonderful language and style of Robert Louis Stevenson as I started into the story. It was like stepping into an old pair of training shoes. Within a few sentences, I was comfortable.
‘Kidnapped’, is set in18th century Scotland, in the period following the Jacobite Risings. It is a tale of deceit, courage, loyalty, hardship, friendship, patriotism, and terrorism. Although the story gets underway with a kidnapping, at its core, this is a tale of human relationships, and how they can be affected by a variety of outside influences.
David Balfour, is a young man from a poor background. He finds himself alone in the world, following the death of his father; his mother previously having passed away. David takes to the road, to visit his Uncle Ebenezer, who will perchance help the teenager to make a life. The King of England’s forces have all but taken over in Scotland, and David’s family are loyal to their new masters.
Within days of leaving the parental home, David finds himself under no illusions at to where his future lies; but it is not as he had imagined. He watches his hopes and ambitions disappear, as he sales from Scotland’s east coast with a crew of misfits; not least of which is the ship’s Captain.
Fate deals several blows to David Balfour, and in each he finds options, but he must be sure to steer his own course. Survival becomes his watchword. On the seagoing voyage, due to a mishap, David is introduced to Allan Breck Stewart, a Scottish freedom fighter, fiercely opposed to the English invasion.
David Balfour finds himself without passage on a ship, with only a wanted criminal as an ally. He must decide if he should choose to accept that situation. Between him and his original start point is a country divided; between loyal clans, and patrolling English soldiers. After all that has happened in a short time, David must decide if he should he try to get back home.
It’s no small wonder that this story has been made into movies and TV series. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good yarn, with many a twist and turn.