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Laura Legge

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An incantatory debut novel about a coven of witches, set in the modern-day Outer Hebrides.

A coven of witches in the modern-day Outer Hebrides scrape out a pagan existence at a farmstead known as Cala. After ten years of relative harmony, fractures are starting to appear in the coven. Teenage Euna is beginning to hate its rigid hierarchy and its arbitary rules – the women may only speak in Gaelic, must perform certain rituals at given hours, and consume only what they grow or gather by their own hands. Sick of scavenged seaweed and thin soup, Euna one day goes to beg food from Aram, a local fisherman and migrant. She finds herself easily seduced by the first man she’s ever seen, and entranced in turn by the power she holds over him. It’s the first in a series of transgressions that sees her flee the yoke of the sisterhood to venture into the modern world… Cala mines the intense beauty of a shrinking language, and the haunting power that small communities hold over the imagination. Starkly personal – Laura was part raised by a Gaelic-speaking grandmother from Lewis in the Outer Hebrides – this is a novel about universal freedom, the pains of not having a county, the creative force of language and tradition, and the way darkly beautiful things dcan grow in sunless places.

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