The Braid

Two sisters, Jeannie and Sarah, tell their separate yet tightly interwoven stories in alternating narrative poems. Each sister–Jeannie, who leaves Scotland during the Highland Clearances with her father, mother, and the younger children, and Sarah, who hides so she can stay behind with her grandmother–carries a length of the other’s hair braided with her own. The braid binds them together when they are worlds apart and reminds them of who they used to be before they were evicted from the Western Isles, where their family had lived for many generations.

An author’s note describes the poetic form in detail.

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