New book release features story of the Highland Clearances

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Based on the true story of Jessie MacDonald, also known as Jessie Balranald, The False Men is a fictionalised account of the brutal and traumatic clearances of Hebridean crofters from the Isle of North Uist.

The False Men is written by Mhairead MacLeod who lived on the Isle of South Uist and in Inverness, before emigrating to Australia. It will be released on September 14th.

The False Men shines a light on the personal stories of those impacted by the violence perpetrated on families by their landlords and neighbours in a period of Scottish history that devastated communities, split families and depopulated huge swathes of the country.

Mhairead MacLeod passionately and evocatively tells a story of a community split by status, privilege and power, and the personal story of one woman’s courageous struggle to resist social pressure and choose her own path, a struggle which will resonate with readers today.

Mhairead MacLeod says: “The Uists are distinct and evocative islands, with a sometimes dark history that is linked to the stark beauty of the wide open spaces and depopulated vistas.The False Men is one story of many that reveal the personal impact that the power and influence of the landlords who implemented The Clearances had on all aspects of society.”

Seonaid Francis, Director of ThunderPoint Publishing writes: “The False Men is set in violent times, but Mhairead MacLeod conveys the compassion, love and friendship between individuals who fought for survival despite the divisions, trauma and devastation of The Clearances.”

The story of The False Men is:

North Uist, Outer Hebrides, 1848: Jess MacKay has led a privileged life as the daughter of a local landowner, sheltered from the harsher aspects of life. Courted by the eligible Patrick Cooper, the Laird’s new commissioner, Jess’s future is mapped out, until Lachlan Macdonald arrives on North Uist, amid rumours of forced evictions on islands just to the south.

As the uncompromising brutality of The Clearances reaches the islands, and Jess sees her friends ripped from their homes, she must decide where her heart, and her loyalties, truly lie.

Available from Kindle priced: £3.99.