By the bestselling author of The Painted Girls
When a remote, ancient settlement is threatened, it is up to one girl to save her family and her community
It’s the season of Fallow, the first century AD. In a misty northern bog surrounded by woodlands and wheat fields, lies a settlement far beyond the reach of the Roman invaders, who are still hundreds of miles to the southeast. Here, life is simple, or so it seems to the tightly knit community. Sow. Reap. Honour Mother Earth, who will provide at harvest time.
A girl named Devout comes of age. She flirts sweetly with the young man who has tilled the earth alongside her all her life, envisioning a future of love and abundance. Seventeen years later, however, the settlement is a changed place. Famine has brought struggle, and outsiders, with their military might and foreign ways, have arrived at the doorstep. For Devout’s young daughter, life is more troubled than her mother ever anticipated. But this girl has an extraordinary gift. As worlds collide and peril threatens, it will be up to her to save her family and her community. Immersing readers in a lost world of pagan traditions, Daughter of Black Lake is a transporting story of love, family, survival and the sublime power of the natural world.
“In a tale that feels at once classic and fresh, Buchanan brings her trademark grace and attention to detail to this luminous story of a mother and daughter in first-century Britannia. Daughter of Black Lake is a thoughtful, compelling novel, a true pleasure to read.”
“An enchanting . . . Deeply researched, and written in poetic prose, this is a compelling glimpse into an ancient Pagan world.”
“Buchanan skillfully depicts the day-to-day life of the people she calls the ‘bog dwellers’ and the changes introduced to their Iron Age society by the invading Romans . . . . she adds enough historical detail to make her story believable and enjoyable.”
“Faroff history comes to life in this story of two generations of women. In Iron Age Britain, a rapidly changing world threatens a mother’s dreams, while her daughter searches for the strength within herself to protect their way of life.”
“Evocative and deftly paced, Daughter of Black Lake conjures both landscape and ancestral memory, transporting us to a time and place we have not lived yet somehow recognize, where a young girl must save her clan from the perils of history’s unrelenting forward march. Family bonds, a mother’s secrets, the gifts of prescience and indomitable spirit combine to create a new kind of heroic journey. A historical page turner that’s the perfect antidote for our uncertain times.”
“In this evocative, meticulously researched novel, Cathy Marie Buchanan creates a world of dark magic and haunting mystery, brutality and beauty. History comes to life on every page.”
The novel submerges the reader in lush imagery, bringing to life an ancient village on the cusp of change as Roman influence marches steadily towards it, threatening to engulf the community’s beliefs and practices. Buchanan’s meticulous attention to detail and obvious passion for research is evident on every page as she weaves history and an engaging tale together with threads of romance and magic. This is a moving and richly textured story about the many colours of love: passion, yes, but also the enduring love of family, and community. Daughter of Black Lake is an enchanting read.
“Buchanan has crafted an engrossing novel awash in historical atmosphere. From religious beliefs to culture clashes to social stratification and the activities of daily life, Buchanan immerses readers in Roman Britain in this beautifully emotive tale of family, community, and love."