“We two are never to be parted, isn’t that what you promised, Dermod? Not in life. Not in death!”

It’s the early 1800s and Moira O’Donnell and Dermod Cullinan have grown up together in rural Ireland. Gifted with second sight, fifteen year old Moira serves as an apprentice to Mrs. Glynn, the wise woman of the county. Moira’s not a willing learner. She feels her second sight to be more of a burden than a blessing, and has grown up feeling isolated from everyone else. Everyone, that is, except Dermod, who was born on the same day, and to whom she feels inseparably linked. They share a fierce love of the land, of it’s animals and of each other. As shadow is inseparable from sunlight, or the soul from the living body, so Moira believes she and Dermod belong together.

But then Dermod leaves to seek his fortune in Upper Canada and although he promises to come back for her, he never does. Moira continues as Mrs. Glynn’s reluctant assistant, ignoring the unspoken hostility of her family towards Dermod, whom they refer to as Dermod Dubh, or “black Dermod”, because of his dark good looks and moods ominous and shifting as a storm.

Then suddenly, urgently, after a silence of three years, Dermod’s voice calls to Moira from across the ocean and she knows him to be in great danger. Although the idea terrifies her, Moira determines to set out alone and find him. When her family refuses to sell the only object of value they possess to pay for her passage, Moira runs away. Over the course of her long and nightmarish journey, she has only Mrs. Glynn’s words of warning to guide her, “Beware the dark Moira. The dark holds grave danger for you!”

Once in Upper Canada, Moira finds a strange, often hostile, world, a world where hardship rubs shoulders with plenty, where the beliefs she holds dear are dismissed as superstitions and where her second sight prompts many to shun her as a witch. She will struggle with her feelings for Luke Anderson, the young settler who watches over her and will come to terms, finally, with the reality of true love. Throughout it all, she will be haunted by the “shadow” in Hawthorn Bay, the shadow who has promised to remain true to her, even in death.
* Based on the multi-award winning novel by Janet Lunn - Original novel text set in Scotland.

© Full Kilt Pursuits Inc. 2020

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