The Winter Sea by Susanne Kearsley.
Is genetic memory just a theory or does it actually occur, or maybe the protagonist in this novel just has a really good imagination?
American historical novelist, Carrie McClelland journeys to Scotland to research her new book concerning an early planned Jacobite invasion in 1708. Her story and her research focus on Slain's Castle, now open to tourists, which was the center of much of the plotting in 1707 and 08. Carrie is soon dreaming of her ancestors who were involved in the intrigue. Is she channeling her long ago many times over great grandmother, is her new romantic interest also a descendant or is it her writer's imagination at work.
The first half of the 18th century in England was a tense political time. The last of the Stuarts, Queen Anne, was on the throne, but with no direct heirs, the crown would pass to the Hanover's of Germany. England and Scotland had been united in 1707, but much tension and dissent remained.
Kearsley brings all this to life through the use of ordinary people caught up in a hopeless cause. The Winter Sea is recommended by the librarian's on the FictionL listserv and other library sources.
For more information on the history of Scotland try these titles:How the Scots Invented the Modern World
by Arthur Herman and The Scottish Nation: 1700- by T. M. Devine.