Ordered to murder by his clan chief, Munro does so because to refuse would threaten his home, his wife and children and his own life. However he, and in particular his wife Kate, are seeking for a better way, and so are in the vanguard of the huge changes that are about to take place in Scottish society.
As Munro says of King James VI, ‘The King has this notion of a nobility at peace and I’m thinking it shouldn’t be discounted.’ His personal dilemma is that his chief demands and expects unquestioning loyalty, and Munro, no longer happy to murder in the name of that loyalty, must ultimately choose between doing what is right and what is expedient, knowing that every member of his family may suffer as a result of his choice.
“This is an emotionally gripping story about a man caught between duty and conscience at a time in history when a man’s livelihood depended upon his loyalty to family and clan.”
“It transported me to Scotland of the 16th century.”
“Turn of the Tide has it all – a rich sense of time and place, characters worth caring about, plot surprises, evocative language, and a pace that never lags.”
CIR: Where did the inspiration for this novel come from?
SKEA: I was researching the Ulster-Scots dialect and came across a footnote in some 17th c Montgomerie family papers mentioning the murder of a group of Montgomeries at the Ford of Annock in 1586. That ‘nugget’ lodged in the back of my mind, and years later when I was thinking about writing a novel, up it popped. Perhaps it was growing up in Ulster at the height of the ‘Troubles’ that drew me to writing about the pressures that living within a conflict situation places on family, on relationships and on personal integrity.
CIR: What makes this saga outstanding?
SKEA: I have been both delighted and humbled in equal measure with some of the lovely review comments I have received, on Amazon and elsewhere, and particularly pleased that Jeffrey Archer, commenting on the Alan Titchmarsh Show, (a UK TV programme) said that both the quality of writing and the quality of research were outstanding.
CIR: Is there any content readers should be aware of?
SKEA: There is an ambush which takes up 1 ½ pages of Chapter 1 and which, due to the level of violence, should probably be rated 12. Other than that there shouldn’t be a problem with content.
CIR: Is there more coming?
SKEA: This book is the first in a trilogy, or possibly a longer series of novels, that will follow the fortunes of the Munro family through the latter years of the 16th century and into the 17th century in Scotland, Ireland and beyond. Each of the subsequent books will be loosely based on the history of the Montgomerie family, particularly those who went to Ulster as settlers from 1607 onwards. The second book should be published early next year and hopefully the third the following year.
Learn more about Margaret Skea and her writing at margaretskea.com