A personal message from the author:

I lived in Edinburgh for about two years while doing my Masters and people would tell me about this colony attempt whenever I said I was from Panama. Some years later, I went back to Scotland to do more research at the National Library and at the University of Edinburgh library. I mountain biked in the Highlands and visited all over. Back in Panama, I did a similar research both in the National Library and around archeological sites of colonial Panama. It was a lot of fun to write! I hope you will enjoy the novel.

— Dorita Avila

Panama and Scotland, 1698: these two worlds could not be further apart. And yet they did collide, as the Scots tried to set up a colony in the heart of the Spanish Empire – the infamous Darien Disaster.

But this grand project is soured by an old conflict: Eóghan is chasing soldier James Fletcher to avenge the death of his family six years earlier in Glencoe. The long journey at sea and the Darien jungle, hostile to colonial efforts, will raise the stakes far higher than expected.

Across the Isthmus, seamstress María Isabel must work her way through the tensions of colonial Panama: men and women, Spaniards and Indios, rich and poor. Smuggling is rife in this coastal city, always under the threat of pirates but also visited by foreign ships eager to trade goods.

Their paths will cross, eventually, in a tangle of blood and grief.


Read online Across a Bloodstained Isthmus by Dorita Avila

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