In the 17th, century the Massacre of Glencoe laid the foundation for hatred between the Campbell’s and the MacDonald’s. Early in the 19th, century a young girl, Katriona Campbell, daughter of Sir Gordon Campbell, head of one of the clans in Northern Scotland, has romantic illusions about a young man she repeatedly sees on a hillside near a Loch, although never actually meeting with him. It is not till one day she falls from her horse, hitting her head on a rock, leaving her with loss of memory, and is rescued by the young man, that she becomes involved with him. He is Donald MacDonald a true descendant of MacIain of Glencoe.
The story is both factual and fictional as it deals with some of the Highland Clearances that took place around 1813/14, particularly the time when Patrick Sellar who worked for the Duke of Sutherland was responsible for the burning of Strathnaver, in which two of its residents died.
Donald marries her while she has lost her memory. Having spent only two weeks in the married state he is arrested for a previous attack on a man while trying to defend himself. He is sent to the colonies on an emigrant ship and lands in Pictou, Nova Scotia where he stays until the verdict on him is overturned, because of perjury on the part of the man attacked.
Katriona, however, is now pregnant and when her memory is restored she is still happy to be married to Donald. This is not how her father feels about a Campbell being married to a MacDonald. He falls out with her, throws her out of the family home, along with her Nanny, Elspeth, who has looked after her since she was four years old. He could lose his position as head of his part of the clan in Northern Scotland. His actions are taken into question by the four other clan leaders in Scotland. His opinion of the Glencoe Massacre makes him decide that an end needs to occur for the clans to live together in peace, once and for all. His pleas bring an end to the feud.
Katriona gets kidnapped by two men, one who had been previously attacked by Donald. During this ordeal she almost loses the baby but it is saved by the kidnapper as he takes a doctor by force to look after her until he gets a ransom of gold sovereigns from her father. Sir Gordon has had a change of heart, and wants his daughter back. He pays up willingly and eventually she is restored to him. Donald is returned from Nova Scotia and they are finally united again but not without a dramatic end to the story when one of the kidnappers, who hadn’t been caught, attempts to leave the country on the same boat, Donald, Katriona and her father are onboard, heading for a new life in Nova Scotia. Donald almost loses his life as the kidnapper attempts to take the baby as hostage so he can escape. A dramatic end to this factual and fictional story.