Severed Knot

Published June 7, 2019

Severed Knot book cover. A woman standing with her back facing us looking out to the sea and framed against a dramatic sky. Below are sugarcane fields

“Bleakly impossible choices face the protagonists in the brutal aftermath of civil war. Stark but involving tale of early colonial exploitation strongly centres on an indomitable Scottish hero.”

Long listed for the HNS 2018 New Novel Award

About Severed Knot

Barbados 1652. In the aftermath of the English Civil War, the vanquished are uprooted and scattered to the ends of the earth. 

When marauding English soldiers descend on Mairead O’Coneill’s family farm, she is sold into indentured servitude. After surviving a harrowing voyage, the young Irish woman is auctioned off to a Barbados sugar plantation where she is thrust into a hostile world of depravation and heartbreak. Though stripped of her freedom, Mairead refuses to surrender her dignity.

Scottish prisoner of war Iain Johnstone has descended into hell. Under a blazing sun thousands of miles from home, he endures forced indentured labour in the unforgiving cane fields. As Iain plots his escape to save his men, his loyalties are tested by his yearning for Mairead and his desire to protect her.

With their future stolen, Mairead and Iain discover passion and freedom in each other’s arms.  Until one fateful night, a dramatic chain of events turns them into fugitives. 

Together they fight to survive; together they are determined to escape.

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