Sarah’s Gift – the full synopsis

Nineteen-year old SARAH SHAND hates the family, farmhouse B&B. The headstrong young woman hates it almost as much as living in the heart of rural Aberdeenshire. After returning home from her first year at University in Glasgow, Sarah’s hatred of country life is even more pronounced. Ironically, she’s studying Hospitality Management. Her dream is to escape her familiar lifestyle and manage a large hotel outside the British Isles.

Sarah’s unhappiness finally reaches the boiling point and she explodes in a venomous tirade, after which she escapes to the nearby derelict stone circle. On this day, the ruins of Weetshill mansion, visible in the distance, prove to be too much of a temptation and she steals away from the stone circle to the main road where she steps into the path of an oncoming car and is critically injured and loses consciousness. The next thing Sarah is aware of, she’s on the narrow road to Weetshill, wearing period clothing. When the mansion looms into sight, she is amazed to see that it’s not the ruin that she’s always known. Curiosity compels her to enter. Tapestries and portraits line the walls. One portrait in particular catches her attention. The woman in it is Sarah’s mirror image! About to flee in terror, a booming, male voice demands that she stop. When she turns to face the source, the old man is convinced that his dead wife–the woman in the portrait–has returned to him.

ROBERT ANDREW ROBERTSON, a handsome, thirty year-old, Victorian bachelor has stayed on to live with his grandfather, the Laird, in Weetshill mansion. Educated at Marischal University, Aberdeen, he is the epitome of a proper gentleman.

When Sarah discovers that Robert is the image of the man in the portrait, she almost faints. Even though he’s equally shocked at her appearance, his gentlemanly demeanor dictates that he look after her, so he takes her outside for some fresh air.

Is it love at first sight? Sarah has strong feelings for Robert and instinctively knows that she can count on him. She hopes that he feels the same about her.

In an effort to prove to Sarah that the year is 1886 and not 2004, Robert arranges to take her to Gordonsfield–the future location of her home. The only building on the property is the one she knows as a roofless ruin behind her house. In order to determine if she’s in the right place, Sarah goes to the stone circle. It, alone, remains unchanged.

When Robert asks her to pretend that she is his grandmother, since her appearance makes his grandfather so happy, Sarah plays along because she firmly believes it’s all a dream and when she wakes up, she’ll be back in her own time and place. All goes well until the old man wants his wife to retire for the night with him.

On his deathbed, the old man calls Sarah by her proper name. He gives her a brooch that belonged to his late wife and asks her to stay on at the mansion with his grandson which she readily agrees to.

After his grandfather’s death, Sarah consoles the grieving Robert. He kisses her hard on the lips and backs away quickly when he realizes what he’s done. He apologizes for his improper behaviour.

Sarah is confronted after the Laird’s burial by a woman from the village who accuses her of being a witch who has cast a spell on everyone at Weetshill and of murdering the old man. In order to protect Robert, Sarah leaves in the middle of the night. Weeks later, when her whereabouts is discovered Robert is ecstatic. He goes after her to bring her back.

On the night of Sarah’s return, in an attempt to prove her love, she sneaks, naked, into Robert’s bed prepared to make love with him. At first he thinks he’s dreaming but when he wakes fully, he orders her back to her own room.

Sarah worries that any chance of happiness with him is ruined. Her fears vanish when Robert proposes marriage. She accepts.

When a letter for Robert arrives by special messenger from the solicitor who is handling the Laird’s will, he discovers he has to leave for Aberdeen the next morning. During his absence, Sarah is savagely beaten by Weetshill’s groom.

Robert’s business in Aberdeen concludes sooner than anticipated so he takes the first available train home. He is horrified to find out what has happened whilst he was away.

When Sarah awakes on the morning after her marriage to Robert, it’s 2004. She’s in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where she’s been in a coma since she was struck by the car on that fateful day. She’s dreamt everything.

One of her nurses is a young man, DAVID ROBB, who looks exactly like the man in her dreams, and has a kind and gentle bedside manner. He is interested in her recollections of the past and spends as much time with her as possible during her convalescence.

After Sarah is released from hospital, a few days before Christmas, David visits her at her parents’ farm armed with genealogical documents that show that he’s a descendent of the Robertsons of Weetshill.

David confesses to Sarah that he’s fallen in love with her and asks her to marry him putting her fears to rest that he only thinks of her as a silly girl who has a crush on him.