"Angela has created a convincing world for her novel and given us characters to believe in and care about. This is a strong story crafted in a period and setting that readers are interested in. She has a sophisticated writing style that's also sensitive and intelligent and lends itself extremely well to historical fiction."
Lesley McDowell, writer & literary critic with the Herald, The Scotsman & the Independent on Sunday.
Winner of a Chill With A Book Reader's Award.
A 2018 B.R.A.G. Medallion honoree (Book Readers Appreciation Group).
A Riveting Historical Saga. A Tale of Kinship and Love, Loyalty and Betrayal.
The North-Eastern Highlands, 1780. The disaster of the last Jacobite Rising has forced many changes on the Highlands and its people, few of them good. Torn from an ancient clan way of life into a harsh world of taxes, rent rises, land reforms and evictions, all that matters to the proud people of Strathavon is holding onto their land and way of life. Only to do so they must risk their lives.
Morven MacRae treads a perilous path - whisky smuggler and healer - apprentice to a suspected witch. Her friend and guide, Rowena, is singled out for extra attention by the authorities, and in particular by the local exciseman who will stop at nothing to have her for his wife. When Rowena's young kinsman Jamie Innes returns to the glen of his birth, Morven prays all will now be well.
Only Jamie’s path is riskier still - torn between honour and love, he chooses a dangerous course. He is a man driven by a fierce loyalty to his kinswoman … or so it seems. And by a desire to belong. Despite herself, Morven is soon intrigued by him. But when it becomes apparent there’s a traitor in the glen, Jamie’s true motives are less clear. Can she trust him? For this is a mystical land of lore and superstition. A place where loyalties are tested and secrets kept close …
If you are drawn to magical storytelling, vivid characters, and authentic historical settings, The Blood And The Barley will resonate with you. A fascinating tale of a lost way of life and a sensitive love story. Perfect for fans of the Poldark novels of Winston Graham and the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.
A Discovered Diamond, and awarded Book of the Year 2018 at #DDRevs.
Winner of a Chill With A Book Reader's Award
Awarded a 2018 B.R.A.G. Medallion as an indication this book is well worth reader's time and money.
".. .the author's description of the Highlands is so evocative one can almost feel the texture of the heather. MacRae conjures a mystical land of crags and burns, where belief in the old ways still hold and are made plausible by its isolation from what Wordsworth described as the 'getting and spending' of everyday life. This is a well-told tale, and I'd love it to become a saga along Poldark lines. Morven has the makings of an excellent Demelza. The community of the glen, their whisky stills and smuggling born out of necessity make for a convincing backdrop and I look forward to reading more about Strathavon. I recommend The Blood And The Barley to anyone who enjoys family sagas. - J.G. Harlond, historical fiction award-winning author.