The year is 1637 and Scotland is a nation on the brink. The king is seeking to reform the church in defiance of the will of the people. In the midst of mounting tensions and civil unrest Jenny, a common-born farm girl, finds herself catapulted by one breathtaking act of defiance from vegetable stall-seller to national heroine. In Edinburgh’s dank alleyways danger is her constant companion, brought on by the unrestrained zealousness of the revolutionaries she joins, the brutal reprisals of the royalists, the jealousy of her unwanted suitor, the Laird’s son, and her own passionate love for the treasonous young preacher who first drew her into the realms of intrigue. As war looms and the proud old nation tears itself in half she finds herself faced with the starkest of choices – will she save her family, or abandon her principles?
First 150 words:
There should have been thunder, Jamie Ness thought as he sat in the half-dark and contemplated death. There was rain. It beat down like Noah’s flood, pooling around the door and trying to soak its way through the thick nest of thatch overhead. It was because God was angry, Jamie decided. Tonight He was losing one of His greatest servants. Surely mere deluge wasn’t enough? Surely there would be thunder too?
“James,” rasped his father’s voice. The young boy looked up, his bitter thoughts dissolving. Even now one word from the old minister commanded him. Even now, bedridden, with his lungs infected and his body wasted, Jamie’s father seemed to dominate the room.
“Come,” Edward Ness managed through gritted teeth. Jamie obeyed, hurrying to the bedside. He glanced at Mortimer as the physician added more peat to the sputtering hearth. The morose man ignored him.
“Well doctor?” Jamie said. “The verdict?”