Two extraordinary women come back to full-bodied life.
Flora McIvor has been rescued from the pages of Sir Walter Scott, who sent her to a nunnery.
Her close friend, the real life Clementina Walkinshaw, was the love of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and mother of his only child.
Both are caught up in a tangle of espionage and treachery following the defeat of the 1745 Jacobite Rising in Scotland. The novel ranges over Europe, and finally to America, showing the international reach of Scotland's culture and politics.
Flora struggles through political failure and personal tragedy towards creative fulfilment in the arts of theatre, and a late discovery of love.
In this drama, which combines storytelling with opera, she defies Scott who wrote her out of `Waverley' as a woman without a future.