I have read some short vampire fiction by Atkinson, was not impressed and only minimally entertained. When I saw this tagged as Scottish historical fiction, I downloaded the sample (free) and was quite impressed, enough to buy the book. I am not sure about “historical” fiction part. Where is the history? It is not history in by my usual definition, but it is history if I consider the language used. There is so much vocabulary unique to Scotland that this might fit into the category “history.” It is fiction with a terrible theme developed so well through the deft use of language that some of the terror is diluted to almost acceptable discourse.

Throwing Clay Shadows                                                        by Thea Atkinson

Maggie lost her mother though childbirth of a baby sister; the sister died also. It was months before Maggie could appreciate death, she really only knew absence. And she accepted responsibility for whatever took Ma and baby sister away. In order to not further cause havoc that would take father away, she stops talking.