Catholicism versus Protestantism — a schism that still continues to raise its head, although less violently these days for a time in the Celtic lands. To do this-speak or write of them-puts breath back in their mouths. So, as part of the plot, Fletcher has to write words that Leslie can love. She shook when she spoke of them. This book is beautifully concepted, and elequently written; five stars are just not enough.
Basic plot run down: after witnessing the events at the Massacre at Glencoe, Corrag is accused of witchcraft and imprisoned. Of those times tales are told. For example, clever use of first person narrative ensures that we develop an intimate relationship with the main characters. Months of clouded breath and I blow and see my breath roll out say the same thing in different ways. The last 50 pages of the book were spectacular, but as a whole, for me the book felt too long.
I learned about the Jacobites. Corrag is in a dark cell with shackles on her wrists, chained to the wall. And they were harsh lands and hard times so we should maybe not judge by modern morals. But how wise is she? Susan Fletcher tells this story with gorgeous, poetical and vivid prose. Like who will remember me? And I have known some winters. They left hens by my hut, as thank you, and raised a hand in greeting, and I had craved that all my lonesome life.
By doing so you are totally immersed in the world of the northern Scottish Highlands. I see its scars and freckles. For my part, there is too much of Corrag's meandering thoughts, too much flowery language. Her hair is knots and branches. Leslie seeks any information that will condemn the Protestant King William, rumoured to be involved in the massacre, and reinstate the Catholic James.
Places of such wind that trees were bent over, and had no leaves. I finally decided to take the plunge. His narration takes the form of letters to his wife in which he recounts conversations with Corrag. I tried to quieten down — but I was so afraid, that night. Fletcher, winner of the Whitbread First Novel award with Eve Green, gives Corrag a lyrical narrative voice - occasionally too consciously poetic. Since doctor and witch were synonyms, Corrag found herself in situations where she would help heal someone's loved one, only to be chased through the woods by witch hunters.
She was told, though, that a man would come. It is a very simple yet ingenious way of learning what two different characters are feeling without slipping into third person narrative. She was the first to say it. Throughout the first half of the book the sense of mystery builds as we try to work out what is really happening at Shadowbrook and Clara is as much in the dark as we are. Thanks for the recommendation from Candi. I loved the narration, but I did have to pay close attention because of the Scottish dialect.
This saved my life, I think. The Glencoe massacre I am not sure if that's what the event is referred to by people from the Highlands but from what I have come to understand it was a massacre. It was entirely suitable as the speaking voice of the 17th century narrator of this tragic story, the waif-like Corrag. Subsequent novels have been shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys award, The Writers' Guild fiction award and the Romantic Novel of the Year award. There is a love story here. Deaths are often violent there, but I hear these were despicably done.
This worked really well in audio format. It was historical fiction based on a true story of the slaughter of a Northern Scottish Village and almost all of its people ordered by a control hungry horrible king in the late 1600's 2. Thus both characters' evolution is revealed. But it is also, of course, about Glencoe and the crime that was committed there — a crime the more horrible because of the abuse of hospitality. Him, who tucked a strand of my hair behind my ear. It is full of everything you might expect from a novel of this nature, love, betrayal, prejudice, fear and redemption.
I recommend listening to this rather than reading it. Both Eve Green 2004 and Oystercatchers 2007 are based around the reminiscence of narrators who wish to share the shame they feel for the wrong they have done in their lives. Your heart's voice is your true voice. Or I would like to be back in my second life. Le ton, adopté, dès le départ, peut également agacer - ou en tout cas, ça a été mon cas : Corrag s'exprime d'un ton résigné, l'auteur insiste sur la naïveté des termes, des expressions.