Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Daughter of Black Lake

Daughter of Black Lake, by Cathy Marie Buchanan

Ten years ago I read and loved Cathy Marie Buchanan's debut novel, The Day the Falls Stood Still. When I learned she'd written another novel about Iron Age Britain, I became immediately interested. I received an advance copy of this book, which just launched on my birthday, October 6. 

This book sent me to the Internet to read all about the Druids and the Roman invasion of Britain. All I knew about Druids was related to Stonehenge, the Solstice, and the TV show Outlander

I have not read many books set this long ago, with the exception of Clan of the Cave Bear, The Red Tent, and the Bible. The story alternates perspectives between Devout and her daughter, Hobble. They are finding their partners in ancient times, trying to make a life for themselves and their families and in Hobble's case, trying to survive being labeled as a "runt" by the Druids. 

Not much is actually known about the Druids, but it appears that they believed in making sacrifices to appease the gods. Sometimes the sacrifices were human, especially children who were believed to be imperfect in some way. 

As someone who was born with a cleft lip, cleft palate, and club foot, it did not escape my awareness that I would have been named Hobble or Harelip in those times and also being at risk of sacrifice. In long-ago times, birth defects like cleft lips were thought to be because of evil spirits.

Even though these were traditional, staunchly patriarchal times, Devout and Hobble are very much fully fleshed-out, strong women characters.

I found this novel to be fascinating and magical. It will stick with me for a very long time!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this. Love that the book sent you to the internet!!