By Jane Yolen & Robert J. Harris
Published by Philomel Books
Copyright © 2007
During the late 18th and early 19th century the proud but poor people of Scotland endured a terrible upheaval in their way of life. It was referred to as the Highland Clearances. Clan Chiefs were betraying their poor kinsmen who were tenants on their land by evicting them to make room for English Sheep herds. Many were removed forcibly and violently. “The Rogue” is a gripping historical drama set within this conflict.
Young Roddy Macallan and his family and friends have been evicted by their new laird. Roddy remembers fondly the story his mother, now deceased, told him and his brothers about the blessing that her grandfather had received from Bonnie Prince Charles many years previous. Though never seeing it himself he knows his mother wouldn’t make the story up. So even though the laird’s men have burned their homes and threatened them with death if they did not leave Roddy leaves his family and sneaks back to his home to find the blessing. This decision runs him head long into a great adventure, involving a whiskey running rogue and the beautiful Josephine McRory (Bonnie Josie), which almost ends in his death on quite a few occasions.
This book brings the Scottish Highlands, its people, and its history to life. Though this story is set in Scotland, the theme of injustices imposed upon the poor by the rich is one that all heritages have seen. This was a particularly enjoyable book that I could read over and over.