Living with the Laird : 'I knew that when I married the man that I married the mansion,' begins Belinda Rahtbone's captivating memoir of her relationship with a Scottish laird - and with his 400-acre ancestral home 'The Guynd'. But there was also much that the urban American did not know when she abandoned her life in New York to become the unlikely chatelaine of this country estate in north-east Scotland after a whirlwind affair with its eccentric owner. Finding herself in a setting reminiscent of many a classic English novel, Rathbone recounts her story of dealing with a grand but crumbling Georgian mansion still recovering from the effects of two world wars, not to mention a hopelessly overgrown garden, troublesome tenants, and an intractable class system often too dangerous to navigate. Like a letter home from a strange land, Living With the Laird gives a unique view into the Scottish countryside of today that is both wry and poignant.
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