Nearing the end of her life, Meggie Tulloch takes up her pen to write a story for her granddaughter, Laura. It begins in the first years of the 20th century, in a place where the howling winds spin salt and sleet, sucked up from the ice floes. A place where lives are ruled by men, and men by the witchy sea. A place where the only thing lower than a girl in the order of things is a clever girl with accursed red hair. A place schooled in keeping secrets. Thirty years after her grandmother's death, Laura receives her notebooks and discovers the painful past that Meggie spent a lifetime trying to forget. Moving from the north-east of Scotland to the Shetland Isles to Fremantle, Australia, Elemental is a novel about the life you make from the life you are given. It is a novel about superstition and friendship, the nature of heroism and sacrifice, women's work, love, and family.