This is one of the most heartwarming and emotionally engaging novels I have ever read, and I have read many. Fraser knows how to create characters you care about it, and to portray their inner life and emotional struggles so convincingly that you feel as if you've lived with the characters throughout the 20th century on a Scottish island. I bought this novel (another edition, which I wore out and no longer have) when I was in Scotland nearly 20 years ago, found out that I could only get the sequels in England, and ended up ordering them from England at a high cost well before they were available in the U.S. I highly recommend the whole series, but the first few books are the most special.
The cover description: A hilly island textured with rugged history and tempered by the good hearts of it people. A Scottish world of moody glens and dramatic skies - a wonderful panorama against which Rhanna's tightly knit community strives, suffers, loves, feuds, worships and sins. Here amid the ebb and flow of emotional turmoil and heartwarming together is the poignant story of Shona and Niall, and the battle they must wage for their desperate but forbidden love.
First book in wonderful series set in Scotland!