The Last Witch of Scotland
Scottish Highlands, 1727.
In the aftermath of a tragic fire that kills her father, Aila and her mother, Janet, move to the remote parish of Loth, north-west of Inverness. Blending in does not come easily to the women: Aila was badly burned in the fire and left with visible injuries, while her mother struggles to maintain her grip on reality. When a temporary minister is appointed in the area, rather than welcome the two women, he develops a strange curiosity for them that sets them even further apart from the community.
Then arrives a motley troupe of travelling entertainers from Edinburgh, led by the charismatic but mysterious Jack. It is just the distraction Janet, and particularly Aila, needs: for the first time in a long while, their lives are filling with joy and friendship, and a kind of hope Aila hasn't known since her father's death.
But in this small community, faith is more powerful than truth, and whispers more dangerous even than fire.
Haunting and deeply moving, The Last Witch of Scotland is a story of love, loyalty and sacrifice, inspired by the true story of the last person to be executed for witchcraft in Britain.
Published: 13 April 2023
Format: 234x153mm, hardback
Extent: 352 pages
About the Author
Highland-based author, Philip Paris, is best known for his books about Orkney’s famous WW2 Italian chapel, the historical fiction The Italian Chapel and the non-fiction Orkney’s Italian Chapel: The True Story of an Icon. His varied work includes Men Cry Alone, a contemporary novel that broke new ground in raising the profile of domestic abuse against men and which won the 2019 Scottish Association of Writers’ Barbara Hammond trophy. Casting Off, a hilarious novel about residents in a Highland care home, was based on his sell-out stage play of the same name.
“Compelling, evocative, heart-wrenching and beautifully written. Highly recommended.”
– Fiona Valpy
“The Last Witch of Scotland is a gripping tale of love, prejudice and fear, filled with rich historical detail. In Aila, Philip Paris has created a character of such defiance and vulnerability that any reader will be bewitched by her story.”
– Elizabeth Lee, author of Cunning Women