The Housekeeper by Beverly Cochran

Mary Ruth Findlater had been the trusted housekeeper at Fionn-Glass, a stately Highland house, for over twenty years. Warm, friendly, competent, well-liked in the village, Mary Ruth is appalled when the laird, Lord Donald, and his new wife, Dorinda, suddenly pull out of a visit which everyone has been preparing for and looking forward to for weeks.

She’s worried too – as her suspicions are aroused that Lord Donald is intending to sell-up – for Fionn-Glass is her home too, in more ways than one.

What Mary Ruth decides to do in the light of these events and how the village reacts form the basis of a delightful Highland story with a sting in the tail and a deep love of the countryside at its heart.  (from the book description on the rear cover)

This novel is the first of 2 novels written by Beverly Cochran of Aberdeenshire Scotland. It was published in 1994 in the United Kingdom and Australia. It did not make it to publication in the U.S. and is out of print already. You can only find used copies. 

If you love Scotland and reading books set in Scotland I think you will like this book. The characters are beautifully written and you are drawn into the village life right along with them. Ms. Cochran is very descriptive and I found it very easy to visualize all the different places the story took place.

The first part of the book took 13 chapters, 160 pages and basically layed the foundation for what Mary Ruth did when she found out the estate was to be sold. I found this a little slow, but yet I was drawn in, I liked the people. Once I got to the second part at chapter 14 it started to move much quicker and I found myself really interested in finding out what in the world she was actually doing and what happened to her so I found it hard to put down then. I can’t really tell you much or I will give away the story.

This delicious Highland story is full of gentle humor and wonderful characters living in the village of Balessie and contrasted with the amoral, stuffy aristocrates that do get their comeuppance in the end!

I would recommend this to all who love Scotland and social justice! I will be looking for a copy of her second book ‘The Visit’.    

5 thoughts on “The Housekeeper by Beverly Cochran

  1. This sounds like something I would really like. Since it is out of print, I will definitely keep my eye out for it to see if it comes into our used bookshop. Since all our books are donated, we never know what we are going to get 🙂


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