Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bookshelf: The Oath & The Covenant

The Oath and The Covenant: The 'Killing Times' in ScotlandRarely does Ol' Myrt here read a novel, but historical novels are certain within my purview. And have I got a book for you!

Isabelle McCall MacLean's The Oath and The Covenant: The 'Killing Times' in Scotland steps back into history during the late 1600s describing her Whitelaw ancestors' experiences as Presbyterian dissenters. Subject to terroriest tactics of the highest degree, we follow the family through the eyes of John Whitelaw's daughter Lizzie.

Her father fought a Bothwell Bridge, refused to take the oaths required by the English King, and Whitelaw and many others died for the belief in man's right to worship as he chose. Lizzie and her battle-worn mother were banished to America.

Somehow the words of this blog don't do justice to the author's master skills of character development, and descriptive reasoning. We know the plot, but Isabelle tells the story with enough Scottish brogue to set the tone, and just enough detail, based on surviving accounts, to paint a vivid picture of the fateful Scottish struggle for independence.

Few escaped the horrors of the time.

Thanks to my friend Jody for bringing this well-crafted book to my attention.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.