Set in Italy during the Napoleonic Wars, The Causeway confronts the reality of religious barbarity, revolutionary violence and the frustration endured by women seeking to determine their own destiny. A young Scottish girl, Marion, is sent to the convent of Santa Maria della Consolazione on the island of Ischia, the fate of many unwanted daughters of Catholic families. The convent is a death-factory where novices and nuns are cynically exposed to disease, physical abuse and privation. Few survive. The convent itself survives on the postulant dowry paid by each girl's family. (The convent is today a hotel.) Threatened with starvation, merciless flogging and mental torture at the hands of her confessor, Marion has no way out. An older nun, Sister Teresa, feels compassion for the young victim so, on Christmas night 1798, she snatches Marion from a whipping in the punishment cell, and the two women escape. Beyond the convent walls, Ischia is in turmoil: the Jacobin revolution in Naples is boiling, and Nelson's fleet has just abandoned Naples to mob violence. The women are trapped on the island. As they learn to trust each other, an enduring bond forms between them. Marion's Jacobite spirit is drawn to the revolutionaries led by Carlo, and to the deserters from the British navy who fight alongside them. Marion and Carlo embark on a tentative love affair, while Teresa becomes close to one of the deserters, Bart. But none of this is to bear fruit. During a raid against Ischia by Captain Foote of the Seahorse, the two women finally escape the island, their lives now united by a profound and abiding love. This gripping historical fiction follows the life of a Scottish teenager, Marion as she attempts to escape from the terrible suffering she experiences at a convent on the island of Ischia. Unlike many historical romance novels, this story confronts the reality of religious barbarity, revolutionary violence and the frustration endured by women seeking to determine their own destiny.