The Ninth Child - Sally Magnusson
Set in the Scottish Highlands, Sunday Times bestselling author Sally Magnusson's second novel is a haunting story of a young doctor's wife, Isabel Aird, struggling to make her childless life meaningful, unaware that sinister Robert Kirke watching her, and her unborn child's, every move.
After years of trying, doctor's wife Isabel Aird has given up hope of ever becoming a mother - despite being pregnant once more. She follows her husband Alexander away from their cosseted existence in the city to the site of a huge engineering project in Loch Katrine, which will deliver clean water to a disease-ridden Glasgow. And amidst the wilderness of the Scottish Highlands, Isabel begins to discover a new sort of freedom.
But the appearance of Robert Kirke casts an ominous shadow over her tentative happiness. A tormented figure from the past who has made a bargain for his soul, he has his eye on Isabel's unborn child. History and ancient folklore collide in this story of one woman's struggle to make her own life matter, and a compromised man's struggle with himself. Which side of Robert Kirke will triumph - and who will be harmed in the battle for his soul?
Like Sally Magnusson's extraordinary debut novel, The Sealwoman's Gift, The Ninth Child explores loss, resilience, the supernatural, and the role of women in a society that denied them any real freedom.