The Story of those who Came Before
Roots of Stone is a passionate tapestry, weaving the story of Scotland with the lives of ordinary and extraordinary people. This fascinating sweep over two thousand years of Scotland's past blends with a true family story stretching back over these same two millennia in a spellbinding fusion of history and memoir. This is an exploration of the Scottish identity through actual tales of the author's forebears - tales drawn from royal bloodline and from crofting hearth, tales of high drama and of quiet everyday satisfactions. Mackays and MacDonalds tread most heavily across these pages, but they are far from alone. Munros, MacDougalls, Murrays and dozens of other clans and families also feature.
Kenneth MacAlpin, Macbeth, Robert the Bruce and Alexander 'Wolf of Badenoch' all have a place in the tapestry. The dreadful deeds of the Wicked Earls of Orkney are laid bare, but counterbalanced by the work of those famous healers, the Beatons. Stepping closer to the present day, the human tragedy of the Clearances becomes all-consuming.
Poets, pipers and poachers play their part, as do dukes and drovers, their tales unfolding within evocatively described landscapes and ancient places of power. The castles and mountains are hauntingly illustrated and the tale is enhanced by the inclusion of two rare piping compositions and some words by the great Gaelic bard Rob Donn.
More than anything else, Roots of Stone is the story of all the ones who came before, those who can still be felt in the blood at times when deep emotion is stirred.
“A rich blend of history and memoir . . . interesting characters and fascinating stories”
“Everything comes back to the land and the people. [Allison] artfully encapsulates the marriage of the universal and the intimate”
“'[Allison] brings alive the ancient craft of the storyteller . . . some finely crafted phrases make it a good read'”
Press and Journal
“A rich tapestry is weaved here, combining a broad sweep of his beloved Scottish history with the personalised family account. The canvas conveys both breadth and depth. An absorbing and invigorating read; indeed, one to happily lose yourself in”
Charles Kennedy MP