Clare discovers she is pregnant and is bitterly disappointed that she is too ill and weak to make the arduous journey back to her beloved Marshlands. The Fisher people decide to settle Clare and Bess in the rugged northwest in Piney Woods settlement, where Bethany is born.
Clare joyously watches Bethany grow, while realizing that Daniel was not worthy of her love. Bess, disappointed that Bethany is not a grandson, becomes nasty and selfish. In the severe isolation of the Piney Woods, the shepherd Modreck’s falling in love with Clare leads to further roils.
Then, when Bethany is three years old, she disappears in a gale. Clare falls into madness, wandering the countryside searching for her daughter. When they see soldiers about to seize her at their border, Fisher people catch Clare and hurl her down the Cliffs of Doom. These lead not to death but to the island refuge of Cedar Haven, where Clare lingers in mental darkness for a long time before being reunited with her daughter, her mother, and William.
Eight years have passed. Bethany becomes stubborn and disobedient, chafing against the rules. Bad news that merchants are draining the marshlands, along with the good news that a deed for William’s possession of Dunlin has been found, sets the stage for two companies to return to the mainland.
Copyright (c) 2010 Annis Pratt
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