“The Calling of the Raven,” is the sequel to Jenny Lloyd’s powerful, emotive novel, “Leap the Wild Water.” We join the heroine, Megan, early in her marriage to Eli Jenkins, the man she had long loved, but she is burdened by a secret that is bound to sour their relationship. For Megan had given birth to a daughter by another man and this child, aptly named Fortune, has returned to the village.
But Eli is not just saddened by the news, he is filled with rage and is determined to make Megan suffer for her actions. His own weakness leads him to exercise control and cruelty upon his possession, his wife Megan. She begins to doubt her own sanity as her brother Morgan and her best friend Beulah turn against her, while Eli openly cavorts with dairy maid, Branwen.
Although there is tragedy and fear in the storyline there is also hope and spirit in Megan’s goodness and determination. Her daughter Fortune is a spark of promise with her loving, lively nature. Megan and her brother Morgan are supported by the love and understanding of their good friend Dafydd and they let their own humanity guides their lives.
This is a book about the intense struggle for freedom and equality made by so many women in the 19th century and still existing today. Megan and Bronwen speak for those who were abused or trapped in loveless marriages but other women in the story, embittered by experience, support the men in their use of possession and condemnation.
Despite the serious nature of this dramatic tale, reading it is effortless. You are carried along by the natural voice of Megan and, at times, other characters, so that you are truly involved in their lives. I cannot recommend this book too highly.