Happy Publication Day to Flora Johnston and her debut historical fiction novel What You Call Free!

Jonet Gothskirk and Helen Alexander: two forgotten women who fought for freedom in the turbulent and terrifying world of 17th century Scotland. Now, 300 years after they walked this earth, their stories have finally been told…

Published in the middle of Women’s History Month, this story tells the tale of two forgotten women of our turbulent Scottish History, Helen Alexander and Jonet Gothskirk. Despite the book being a work of fiction, it is loosely based on these two real historical characters who risked their lives in the name of freedom. Now their story is finally being told, 300 years after they walked on this earth. Flora Johnston brings these characters to life, providing a never seen view of the lives of women living in 17th century Scotland. In a world where we are now continuing to fight for gender equality and honouring the women of today, we must also look back and remember the women of our past, those who fought for our freedoms, just as Helen and Jonet did.  

Pregnant and betrayed, eighteen-year-old Jonet believes nothing could be worse than her weekly public humiliation in sackcloth. But soon she discovers that a far darker fate awaits her. Desperate to escape, she takes refuge among an outlawed group of religious dissidents. Here, Widow Helen offers friendship and understanding, but Helen’s own beliefs have already seen her imprisoned once. Can she escape the authorities a second time?

From the exposed Pentland hills to the narrow closes of Edinburgh, both Helen and Jonet eventually find that their fate is inextricably linked with that of fugitive preacher James Renwick. As the net closes over him, they too risk everything.

This extraordinary tale of love and loss, struggle and sacrifice, autonomy and entrapment, urges us to consider what it means to be free and who can be free – if freedom exists at all.

Join us tonight in celebrating the virtual book launch of What You Call Free with author Flora Johnston and special guest speaker, James Robertson. Help us mark this day in history where Jonet and Helen finally have their voices heard and their stories told.

Sign up for the virtual launch of What You Call Free, tonight at 7PM.

Click here to order your copy.