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Corrag by Susan  Fletcher
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Mar 04, 2011

it was amazing
Read on March 04, 2011

This is such an overlooked jewel of a book.

It's set in the late 17th century, just after James the II has "escaped" to France, and William of Orange (who spoke no English) graciously agreed to be the King of England. Well..... he WAS a Protestant!!!

The historians among you will recognize this "Bloodless Glorious Revolution." But this book is such a small story, concerning a child sized woman, born a bastard to a "cunning woman" whom most would call witch. Her mother comes to her one night, having realized that she (the mother) would be taken the next day. Waking Corrag, she gives her the horse, telling her to ride "north-and-west." For over a year, Corrag wanders with Her Mare, as she's named the horse, until she reaches an infamous place in the Highlands of Scotland called Glencoe, just as Her Mare dies. Corrag builds a small shelter, on the edges of the MacDonald land, and after she helps cure The MacIain (clan chief), she is more or less accepted, although she far prefers solitude and sees the beauty of small things more than anyone around her.

The book actually is narrated by an Irishman, who has heard of her as a witness to the infamous Massacre of Glencoe. He goes to her cell (she is being kept to be burnt as a witch - but truly, she is to be executed because she helped some of the MacDonalds escape the massacre.

What follows in the relationship of these two people is not unlike a gently unfolding flower. The Irishman is a Jacobite, seeking revenge of some kind against the soldiers who, after staying with the Macdonalds for two weeks, killed them all (other than the ones Corrag helped escape.)
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This is a brave book, but above all, it's a story of a simple life, lived bravely, and lived by standards we avow more than we practice.
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