Còig Duilleagan na Seamraig (‘The Five Leaves of the Shamrock’) is a political novel of a type which is rare in Scottish Gaelic. Recalling major political and social upheavals in the British Isles a century ago, the narrative moves between the Highlands, Ireland, London and Paris, tracing major events in the life of Donald Mackenzie from Gairloch who becomes a personal bodyguard and secret political ambassador to David Lloyd George, the most powerful politician of the day.
Donald becomes enveloped in the struggle for Irish independence, and his loyalty to the British Empire is severely tested. Swirling around this hotbed of intrigue and rebellion is the struggle for women’s suffrage and a personal feud from Donald’s childhood whose poisonous legacy follows him throughout his life. Truth, allegiance and love become casualties in a drama that begins in 1896 and ends in 1922, but whose echo can still be heard in today’s world.