by Colleen Mccullough
Read an excerpt:
...student, she was escorted across the lawnfrom the convent to the presbytery by a nun and handed over toFather Ralph's housekeeper, who adored her."Och, it's the wee bairn's bonnie Hielan' hair," she explained tothe priest once when he questioned her, amused; Annie wasn'tgiven to liking little girls, and had deplored the presbytery's prox-imity to the school."Come now, Annie! Hair's inanimate; you can't like someonejust because of the color of her hair" he said, to tease her."Ah, weel, she's a puir wee lassie--skeggy, ye ken."He didn't ken at all, but he didn't ask her what "skeggy" meant,either, or pass any remarks about the fact that it rhymed withMeggie. Sometimes it was better not to know what Annie meant,or encourage her by paying much attention to what she said; shewas, in her own parlance, fey, and if she pitied the child he didn'twant to be told it was because of her future rather than her past.Frank arrived, still trembling from his encounter with his fatherin the bar, and at a...