The story opens in the western Highlands of Scotland in 1817. The Highland Clearances have begun, and everywhere landowners are brutally evicting their tenants, condemning them to a grim future of starvation and despair. Amid this unfolding tragedy, one particularly terrible act of cruelty leads to a dreadful curse being placed on the family, lands and descendants of the man responsible -- Edward Macarthy Neill. From that moment on, Neilts family will never be out of danger, as the curse pursues them relentlessly down through the generations. . . .
Set against the dramatic background of the western Highlands, Harsh Heritage is a powerful tale of superstition and revenge from Scotland's finest historical novelist.