Alyson Thomson has left the city for a simpler life on an abandoned farm with her lover, Walker, a potter. Wandering there, she uncovers, in the ruins of a log cabin, the writings of a young woman who lived more than a hundred years before. Into Alyson's story Merilyn Simonds weaves the moving tale of Margaret MacBayne, who, with her family, left behind hardship in a seaside Scottish town in the hope of building a new home in the Canadian wilderness. Margaret, an expert on herbs, contemplates revenge when her brothers rob her of her happiness. When Alyson too suffers great loss, she must decide if retribution is worth the price. Taut and uplifting, sensuous and astute, The Holding is psychologically complex and beautifully rendered. Simonds brings us an intimate journey of discovery into the things we keep most guarded, whose truths often lie in unexpected places.