In 1558 a young French woman sets out for Scotland with her servant/companion, to fulfill a bargain made by others: but all is not as it seems. Colin McLean has something her family wants, and they have something he wants. Caught in the schemes of others more powerful than she is, Margarete is forced to look for the sources of her own power.
Taking a catholic wife is no light matter for a Scottish landowner, nor is Colin eager to give up his freedom. However, Margarete’s odd mix of innocence and sensuality intrigues him. Why does an inexperienced girl make him feel as though he’s with an awakened woman?
Margarete knows why, but she also knows how dangerous it could be if anyone ever found out, and not just for herself. She has sworn an oath, and this loyalty is the one reliable bond that will carry her through dramatic changes and traumatic events.
This is a powerful tale of love and sensuality, loyalty and pleasure, religion and outlawry, empowerment and speculation. Songs are sung; stories are told. In the nearly self-sufficient community of the rural castle that is now Margarete’s home, she learns to inhabit her own power. In the intellectual turmoil of the Protestant Reformation, she finds space to test her own beliefs. Confronted with violence and the threat of losing what she values most, she finds resolve, and the strength to do what honour demands.