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Fiction Ancient World

Daughter of Black Lake

A Novel

by (author) Cathy Marie Buchanan

HarperCollins Canada
Initial publish date
Oct 2020
Ancient World, Historical, General
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2020
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2020
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2020
    List Price

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Where to buy it


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.

About the author

CATHY MARIE BUCHANAN’s work has been translated into nine languages. Her previous novel, The Painted Girls, was a #1 national bestseller in Canada and a New York Times bestseller. Lavished with praise, it was selected as a People pick, included in Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List,” and named a best book of the year by NPR, Good Housekeeping and Goodreads. Her debut novel, The Day The Falls Stood Still, was a New York Times bestseller and is one of the Canada Reads Top 40 Essential Canadian Novels of the Decade. Buchanan holds a BSc (Honours Biochemistry) and an MBA from Western University. Born and raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario, she now lives in Toronto.

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Cathy Marie Buchanan's profile page

Editorial Reviews

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. — Gail Anderson-Dargatz, author of The Cure for Death by Lightening

“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.” — Christina Baker Kline, bestselling author of The Orphan Train and The Exiles

“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.” — Therese Anne Fowler, bestselling author of Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald and The Good Neighborhood

“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.” — Brunonia Barry, bestselling author of The Lace Reader and The Fifth Petal

“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." — Booklist (starred review)

“An enchanting . . . Deeply researched, and written in poetic prose, this is a compelling glimpse into an ancient Pagan world.”
Toronto Star

“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.” — Entertainment Weekly

“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.” — Winnipeg Free Press