A Promise of Love is the story of Judith Cuthbertson, a twice widowed English woman who is tricked into marriage to a reluctant laird.
It’s a desolate time in Scotland’s history, two years after the ’45, and the MacLeods of Tynan Castle have barely managed to survive after so many of their countrymen died due to war and starvation. The very last thing Alisdair MacLeod wants is an English wife. The very last thing Judith can tolerate is a husband, regardless of his nationality. They are, however, more alike than their pasts would lead them to believe.
Readers have told me how brutal the beginning of A Promise of Love is – they’re right and I’m sorry for that. Judith’s past is not an easy one. Perhaps today I might write her story differently. She was, unfortunately, true to the women of the day. In an era where women were treated like chattel, she was fortunate to end up in Scotland. There, a woman had more rights.
I’ll also admit that Scotland after Culloden was a desperate place, one filled with hardship and privation and fear. But even among the ruins of Tynan Castle there was the promise of hope and love.