Chronicles of Elizabeth Highland

Romance - Contemporary
614 Pages
Reviewed on 05/16/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Life is a journey, one that can be incredibly inspirational, full of love and laughter, or one that can be dull and mundane and merely a means to get from one day to the next. For Elizabeth Highland, life is a journey of discovery, one that challenges the famous Hamlet line, “To be or not to be,” one that demands a little bit of love and a whole lot of laughter. Reconnecting with someone she met forty years ago and enjoying a sprightly relationship, all online, sees her flying to meet him in person. Only he’s married; she’s divorced. Will their online relationship spark enough to keep the romance alive and well? Find out in Mairy E. Lloyd's Chronicles of Elizabeth Highland.

Mairy E. Lloyd’s Chronicles of Elizabeth Highland is a quirky, fun-filled read about a journey through relationships. The main character, Elizabeth, is determined to find her genuine soulmate; she’s driven in discovering her passion for romance and love. Told in the first person narrative, from Elizabeth’s point of view, the story reads like a memoir, complete with the online, detailed emails as the romance blossoms. The story is a journey, not one that seeks an ending, but one that enjoys the ride. As Elizabeth follows her journey, seeking that one true love, she experiences a profound spiritual awakening that allows her to evaluate her life, purpose, and need for love. Sparked with humor, eloquent dialogue, and narrative, the story unravels in the past and present as the journey unfolds to meet the future. Brilliant!

Stephanie Chapman

Chronicles of Elizabeth Highland by Mairy E. Lloyd is a first-person narration by Elizabeth. It divides the book into three distinct chapters filled with shorter anecdotes. The first chapter involves Elizabeth preparing to meet Timothy Blumefield. They had been friends for forty years and were sharing emails hinting at more, despite Tim being married. Chapter two shows Elizabeth being disappointed when Tim didn’t seduce her. She returns home and consults psychics, then resumes the flirty email banter, believing that Tim is her soulmate. The final chapter has Elizabeth taking multiple trips around the world. She meets with Tim again and learns he hasn’t filed for divorce. Elizabeth writes a book sharing their intimate emails and begins a journey of spiritual enlightenment.

Mairy E. Lloyd created a romance involving a fifty-eight-year-old woman who embraces her single adult life. I felt that Elizabeth was codependent, especially with her need to be in a relationship. On her first trip to see Tim, she could not accept the reality that he was still married. At no point did he suggest that he was leaving his wife. I admired her focus on staying in shape, attention to classic fashion, and determination to get what she wanted. Tim's emails were perplexing, with their allusions to intimacy followed by a sudden silence. The detail given for the astrological signs of Libra and Aquarius was deep. Elizabeth's visions, which she describes with intricate detail, were borderline creepy. It disappointed me that there was a lack of interaction with her children, especially when her son stayed at her home. The end of the book hints that there could be a sequel. Readers interested in romantic novels full of travel and spiritual teachings will enjoy Chronicles of Elizabeth Highland.

Jamie Michele

Chronicles of Elizabeth Highland by Mairy E Lloyd is a romantic comedy set in the early 2010s that revolves around the bumpy journey of love for its titular protagonist. Elizabeth Highland is fifty-eight years young, although nobody would think that if they saw her, and has dated on and off for several years following an acrimonious divorce. She's self-assured, in total control of her personal agency, and oozes intelligent wit. In short, she's an absolute saucy minx. She and her longtime friend Timothy Blumefield, who's married, have skirted around flirtations and championed each other for decades, but remained only that—friends. When Tim throws a spanner in the works with an ambiguous invitation, Elizabeth hits reverse on the memory mobile and takes readers along for the ride as she retells her tale in the first person, complete with emails, dates, thoughts, dreams, visions, and all manner of spiritual revelations.

It's loads of fun to putter around with a character like Elizabeth while we read a book about her writing a book, and we get that little extra layer of wink-wink, nod-nod from the book's actual author, Mairy E Lloyd. Chronicles of Elizabeth Highland is pretty intimidating at first glance, sitting at a good 300 pages longer than a normal rom-com novel. I'm here to tell you that it flies by and, as a reader, my face was in a constant state of aching from smiling so much. Botox might help with that, but Elizabeth wouldn't approve. I loved how spiritually connected Elizabeth is. She seeks out guidance from half of North America, like doing the darshan with Buddha Maitreya remotely from Canada to the Midwest, and sets herself off on what most would call 'the trip of a lifetime' over and over again. Elizabeth takes trips of a lifetime like it's her job. Meanwhile, there's this song and dance happening between her and Tim, unfolding in real-time in a first-person narrative. The book is well-written, engrossing, and comes with a lot of introspection, twists, and a ridiculously sexy pair of thigh-high boots. Very highly recommended.

Grant Leishman

Chronicles of Elizabeth Highland by Mairy E. Lloyd is a journey of self-discovery and spiritual awakening that will enthrall readers of all ages and both sexes. Elizabeth Highland is a 58-year-old woman who knows her mind, or so she thinks. Following a failed marriage and several long-term relationships, Elizabeth lives alone in her one-bedroom Toronto apartment with her beloved dog Bear and fills her days with dance, yoga, exercise, and enjoying her independence with an active social life and good friends. One thing is missing though; she yearns to share the years that she has left with someone. She yearns to find true love, a soulmate if you will. When Tim, a lifelong friend, contacts her out of the blue, her life turns upside down. He has always had feelings for her since they first met at age 18 but the timing had never been right, and besides which, he genuinely believed Elizabeth would not be interested in him romantically. The only problem – Tim is married and Elizabeth is not one to come between a man and his family. With Tim’s assurances that his marriage is indeed “on the rocks,” the pair ventures into a cyber-relationship that soon blossoms into much more. The flowering of Elizabeth’s spiritual awakening and her understanding of the Universe and its synchronicities will determine how these two navigate the tricky waters of a long-distance relationship and, perhaps, eventually discover their love for each other in the physical world of reality.

Chronicles of Elizabeth Highland is one of those books that asks the big questions about the Universe, the purpose of life, and the meaning of true love, friendship, and relationships. With a nod to the universally loved Eat, Love, Pray, author Mairy E. Lloyd takes her character of Elizabeth on a journey to uncover what is missing in her life. Her journey will take her to the mountains of Nepal and Bhutan, to a monastery in California, and to Turkey, Jerusalem, and Jordan. Readers who understand the concepts of the Law of Attraction and Synchronicity will revel in the amazing “coincidences” or synchronicities that seem to follow Elizabeth and Tim at every turn. I particularly appreciated Elizabeth’s dominant, forceful personality which was almost the polar opposite of Tim’s almost typical male response to a woman who knows what she wants and sets out to get it. Where Elizabeth was open, expressive, and emotional, Tim was closed, secretive, and focused, it seemed, on the physical pleasure of their interaction. This provided a wonderful contrast and conflict which constantly played out in the pages. For me, though, the highlight of the story was Elizabeth’s incredible spiritual journey and awakening to the immense power of the Universe and the individual creative mind. This so perfectly aligned with my wife's and my journey that I found myself constantly nodding and smiling at Elizabeth’s pronouncements. This is a wonderful story that touches the very soul of the reader. I can highly recommend this read.

K.C. Finn

Chronicles of Elizabeth Highland is a work in the contemporary romance, spiritualism, and inspirational subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and is penned by Mairy E. Lloyd. In this quirky and upbeat read packed with sage wisdom and spirituality, we are introduced to the very unusual love story of Elizabeth Highland and Timothy Blumfield. Separated by immense distance, love still blossoms, and the lessons Elizabeth learns in this emotional saga are valuable not only in her romantic life but also in moving her forward with peace and harmony in her spiritual awakening.

Mairy E. Lloyd has penned a work of romantic fiction that also blends self-help, spirituality, mysticism, and personal narrative in such a clever way that it becomes harder and harder to tell fact from fiction the more immersed you get. As such, Elizabeth Highland becomes an actual figure we know very deeply, and seeing her journey to self-awareness and contentment, though it has many ups and downs in this intriguing and often surprising plot, is immensely satisfying to explore. I also really enjoyed the presentation of speech and narrative, which felt natural and suitable for Elizabeth’s attitude and open heart, but also allowed the charm and positivity of the author to come through. Overall, Chronicles of Elizabeth Highland is a book I’d certainly recommend for readers wanting to get lost in a flurry of lovely romantic fiction but also come away with something more profound and meaningful from their reading experience too.