Stranger than fiction
“On Dominion Day 1911, a single bullet fired by Farquhar McRae took the life of a young Scotsman. The event shocked the whole Glengarry community in Eastern Ontario and ultimately reverberated throughout Canada.”
So begins Mist Of Tears, the Life and Times Of Mary McRae and Charles Magee.
Set in Bridge End, Roger Clark’s strangerthan-fiction story of love, hate, murder and abduction is the culmination of ten years of research by the retired Ottawa resident.
Mr. Clark is married to Pat McRae, a descendent of the “remarkable family” who became infamous when Farquhar McRae killed William Shaw during a kidnapping attempt.
Trying to bring more clarity to this “profound and complicated family tragedy,” the 100-page book “brings to life the hopes and tragedies of two Ontario families,” says Mr. Clark.
“This is the true story of two people whose destinies become inextricably entangled and whose fates are determined by their strong characters, as well as by the powerful social and cultural forces that surround them,” the blurb reads. “Mary McRae was born into a staunchly Catholic farming family in Glengarry County, with proud Scottish roots going back hundreds of years. Charles Magee was of Irish stock and he, too, was born into a farming family in North Gower, close to Ottawa. His family was staunchly Protestant.”
“Mary became a nurse, Charles became a doctor, and their paths crossed, leading to their marriage and the birth of their son. During the early years of the 20th century, the Catholic Church was adamant that 'mixed marriages' were illegitimate unless the children were raised with Catholic values and practices. The papal decree, Ne Temere, was proclaimed in 1908, the year that Charles and Mary were married.”
“To make matters worse, Charles proved to be a violent and abusive husband. Mist of Tears tells how Mary escapes back to her home in Glen Nevis, how Charles organizes a raiding party in an attempt to recover his baby son, how Mary's uncle, Farquhar McRae, shoots and kills one of the group and is sentenced to life imprisonment. The following year, baby Charlie is kidnapped, and Charles has an affair with a mysterious Hungarian woman. We follow the lives of Charles, Mary, and Charlie through the Great War and beyond, as they take their own paths, seeking the happiness they failed to find together.”
A former Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, Roger Clark earned the Order of Canada in 2001 in recognition of his human rights work.
The book was self-published via Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and is available from Amazon.