Scotland, July 1746: an army of occupation ravages the Highlands, committing atrocities with consequences that will reverberate across generations. From this bloody cataclysm, the hardened professional soldier Mordaunt saves an infant who becomes his heiress and his obsession: on his shattered estate, a traumatised Franco-Scottish laird, Ewen Stirling, offers protection to a boy damaged by unspeakable horror.
These lives, fatally bound, unfold against the turbulence of the eighteenth century, in a magnificent, uncompromising saga of love and the human cost of war.
The story begins:
You ask me, how shall we overcome these shadows? How much truth is unbearable?
I have known the darkness, and the poignancy of the light. I shrink from neither, deny neither.
They are my truths; it was my life.
These are my truths.
Why did I write Coronach? I wrote it because it came to me, the greatest gift any writer can receive: a story no one else has ever told. The eighteenth century and the '45, the Jacobite rebellion, and its consequences, which included the notorious Highland Clearances, have been romanticized out of all recognition by historians and popular novelists alike. It’s time to set the record straight: to tell the truth. Coronach wrests the rose-ringed legend of the '45 from entangling myths and clichés and sets it within the context of a century of war, a world war fought on land and sea, from the ancient killing-grounds of the Low Countries to the raw wilderness of North America, by the superpowers of the time, Britain and France. And in this relentless struggle for global supremacy, the life of an individual is a mote of dust, and of as much consequence to an invading army.
Why is it so violent? Because Coronach does not compromise. It is a novel about the human cost of war. War annihilates, and among its first casualties are the innocent. An army of occupation commits atrocities, and civilians die. Women, children, the old, the vulnerable, the non-combatants suffered as certainly in the eighteenth century as in Vietnam, when Canada first became aware of the full horror of collateral damage, as they suffer in Iraq and Afghanistan. In this, Coronach is as relevant as today’s headlines.
Why should you read it? If you are American, it will speak to you of the founding of your nation, and cast a perhaps unexpected light on the seeds of revolution. If you are Canadian, as I am, you will understand the Scots who settled, explored, charted, fought for and governed this vast, fur-bearing territory, and inscribed Scotland forever on its maps, from Nova Scotia to the Mackenzie and the Fraser. If you are English, Coronach will illuminate a century of magnificence and power; if you are Scottish, this is your heritage. These are your truths. If you are French, Coronach will evoke for you the menace and the majesty of Britain’s implacable foe.
If you are a woman, this is the story of an indomitable woman, whose life was lived against the background of that turbulent century. She is not me, but she is a part of me, and of all of us. If you are a man, Coronach will speak to you of the honour, courage and vengeance of men, and the greatness of the human spirit. If you are a soldier, you will read of duty, service, and the habit of command, the uniform’s brotherhood; if you are a pacifist, you will find justification. If you are a believer or an atheist, you will see the struggle for God amidst the surrounding darkness.
Coronach is a novel of passion, explicit and powerful, for sexuality is perhaps the most profound of all human experiences. It is a novel of the many aspects of great love. Whatever your sexual orientation, it will speak to you. Of love between women and men, of love between men, when homosexuality in the armed forces was an offense punishable, at least in theory, by death.
If you are human, it will speak to your humanity, and your compassion.
As readers, we all come to a book with an open mind, an open heart, and say, “Tell me a story.”
Let me take you by the hand into the eighteenth century, and I will show you how it was.
Coronach was published simultaneously in a hardback collector's edition (ISBN 9781434312990) and in paperback (ISBN 9781434312983), and is available online from:
www.authorhouse.com, www.authorhouse.co.uk, BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk,
Tesco Guardian Superbooksdeals.com, Textbookx.com, Abebooks.com, Alibris.com, Powells.com, Blackwell.co.uk, and Bookbutler.co.uk.
Retail outlets throughout the UK, Europe, and Asia, may order via Waterstones, Bertrams, Gardners, and Nielsen Book Data. North American retail outlets may order via Ingrams. Coronach will be available by post, telephone or online in the UK from:
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Coronach may be ordered by post or telephone in North America from:
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Copyright by Highseas Authors Limited
"Your life is a mote of dust, and of as much consequence to an army."
"I have never, ever read a book that has left such an impact on me as this one. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Beautifully researched and written, it charts the interwoven story of both aggressor and victim of the English occupation of the Scottish Highlands in the mid 1700s, and the rise and fall in the fortunes of both. The unspeakable atrocities perpetrated by the invaders are so graphically related you can almost smell the fear and taste the blood. And you are left truly appalled. Yet out of this grows the most passionate of loves, destined to destroy all those it touches. The reader is dragged through such a vast array of emotions, it will leave you quite stunned. I can say no more than you simply must read this book. You will never find its like again."
Debbie Stinchcombe, England
"A remarkable work which made a truly indelible impression on me, and has changed the 'shortbread and Scotch' imagery of Scottish history forever in my mind. Well done!"
Jack 'Captain Canada' Hetherington, Burnaby, British Columbia
"A spectacular achievement ... the pure poetry of the writing is a pleasure to read."
"I must confess I carried it everywhere and opened it to read at every opportune moment. I really enjoyed it."
"Meticulous research and poetic use of language ... Kimberley Jordan Reeman's skilled use of words and beautiful descriptive passages are a pleasure to read. Her characters ring true to their age ... the book's gorgeous cover draws the eye and is set for optimal marketing. Coronach, beautifully and skillfully written, is the perfect showcase for the author's talent."
"A magnificent book. One for the ages."
Carol Spendlove, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
"A sweeping saga that uses the classic ingredients of any historical drama -- war and death and romance. Sparked by the failure of the '45, the story delves into numerous intrigues and personal dilemmas of the era and these are played out against the backdrop of the bloody and brutal realities of life in 18th century Scotland."
"A great, sweeping story ... once started, it was hard to put down."
Norah Perkins, Canongate Books, Edinburgh
"Beautifully written, highly recommended."
I.M. Coombe, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
"The lessons that can be learned about history, and, especially about humanity (psychologically and socio-culturally) are simply extraordinary ... Coronach is a masterpiece."
Beth D. Garcia, Texas, USA
"Coronach possesses an uncommon quality of writing once referred to as 'Literature'. With a plot as rich as Dickens and a mood reminscent of Hardy, this is a rare and powerful novel that satisfies ... A brilliant book."
L.E. Morgan, Toronto, Canada
"What a comprehensive don't-put-this-down opening. And the background research must have been extensive ... this surely was how things were."
Gordon Weaver, Surrey, England
"Reeman uses lyrical, evocative language to great effect ... If you like historical epics, or hard-centred love paeans with masses of brooding introspection and colourful backgrounds, then this, with its distinctively Scottish twist, is for you."
The Northern Scot
"Excellent and splendidly written ... the characters fully grown and demanding the reader's attention and involvement. I wait for more."
author of the Poldark novels, 1998
"I wish I had written it."
Douglas Reeman, novelist, 2007
"With a depth of character not seen since Crime and Punishment, this book is a beautifully crafted tale of life and love in a brutal age."
R Grayling, Struggling Authors UK
"A devastatingly dark opening and a heart-rending account of forbidden love, this book will stay with you long after you have finished it."
Sarah, SLR Books