Sometimes you start reading a book, and while you know it’s good, suddenly it will dawn on you that it’s so much more than that; you can’t turn the pages fast enough, but you’re also forcing yourself to slow down because you want to luxuriate in the beauty of the words and the flow of the story. Corrag is that sort of book.
Set against the background of the Glencoe Massacre of 1692, Corrag weaves fact and myth around the betrayal of King William’s troops against the Jacobite Scots who signed the Oath of Allegiance six days too late. Corrag’s spent her young life running from the stigma of being branded a witch, but when she arrives in Glencoe, she finds acceptance and peace among the clan. Her healing knowledge and her innocent connection to nature endear her to the chieftain and his people, and it’s there that she finds love, albeit forbidden, with the MacIain’s younger son. When the danger of impending massacre is revealed to Corrag, she desperately tries to warn clan members; her subsequent capture finds her condemned to burn in retribution. Thus her tale comes to light as a Jacobite preacher, Charles Leslie, arrives to learn about the massacre; alone in her cell, Corrag shares her memories, her dreams, and her soul as her death draws nigh.
This beautifully written story is told through flashbacks by Corrag herself and through letters written by Leslie as he comes to know the details of what occurred. As the story progresses, you can feel Leslie’s perspective changing, and Corrag’s desperate longing for someone to acknowledge her existence after her death is gut-wrenching. Vivid, well-researched and gripping, Corrag is simply an assault on the senses. Highly recommended.