Book: Phillipa and the Big Scot by Joan Adamakcategories: Book, Fur Trading, 1880s, Boston, Oregon Territory, Pack-Trains, Indians, Mountain Men, French Canadians, Love, Violence, Historical Romance
Joan Adamakabout this book: This is a story about a beautiful, seventeen-year old, pampered, rich Bostonian debutante, Phillipa, who naively sets her eyes on a suave sophisticated Frenchman, Armand, a roué who seduces her, leaving her pregnant. Her father, unable to find Armand, selects Scotty MacTavish, a fur trader from the Oregon Territory, to be her husband, knowing that Scotty is smitten with his daughter and is unaware of the pending birth. Because Phillipa's father lies to Scotty implying that Phillipa is interested in him when he approaches Scotty about marrying her, Scotty is so elated that he fails to take into consideration that she is not a frontier woman, which is what he needs. To save the family honor, Phillipa is given the choice of either marriage to Scotty or confinement in a convent, which would ruin her chances of a good marriage in the Boston area.
They marry quickly, but she is unresponsive and abusive to Scotty as a husband.
They are able to take a train into eastern Montana, but from there they have to travel by horseback with an eight-mule pack train across the mountains to the Oregon Territory before the snow flies. Unaccustomed to the rigors and hardships of several weeks of traveling in this manner, she becomes ill. Recovering her health by staying with a frontier family along the route, when they reach his cabin in the Oregon Territory, Scotty demands that she make a decision…either be a wife or he will send her back to her father with the earliest pack train traveling east. Just when it seems this young couple can make it, due to a grave miscommunication, hurt to the core and angry, Scotty leaves with his pack train to barter with the Indians for fur pelts. Phillipa, not realizing that Scotty is not returning immediately is left alone, helpless and vulnerable.
While she is alone, Phillipa has several decisions to make: Can she become a frontier wife? Can she learn to defend herself? Does she love Scotty? This is an historical romance with true life experiences just as it would have been during the 1880s.
I commenced writing this novel in 1957 when my father passed away. He was the model for Scotty and it soothed my heart to write this. But I never finished it although I would look at it now and again through the years. Finally a year ago, I decided to finish it and in the end it became more about Phillipa than Scotty. The manner in which to camp out and many of the other experiences she had, I have had having been raised in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. The information about fur trading was told to me by a fur trader for the Hudson Bay Company in British Columbia, Canada during WWI. The other information about the Indians was gathered from Native Americans and research.
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