Saturday, April 3, 2010

Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt

I received a review copy of the book from Netgalley. This in no way affected my opinions.

Daughters of the Witching Hill is a beautifully crafted story of what was a horrifying moment in history.

Not knowing much about the 1612 witch trials of the Pendle witches in England, I didn't know what to expect, but I figured that it ended much like the witch trials I do know about: the Salem Witch Trials of 1693. A big difference I noticed is that in the 1612 trials, if someone admitted that they were a witch, they weren't shown leniency, while in the Salem trials, if someone admitted they were a witch, they weren't hanged.

The writing struck me. It flowed effortlessly and nothing seemed forced. We saw the points of view of two women: Bess Southerns, known as old Demdike, and great healer in the community for several decades, and her granddaughter Alizon Device. We saw the happy events in these two women's lives and their heartbreak. The descriptions of the imprisonment and trials of the Pendle witches absolutely terrified me and I'm so thankful I didn't live back then. People were quick to flip the witch switch when anyone became ill or died.

I can't stop thinking about this story. The heartbreak and unfairness really got to me.


Bekah said...

From what I read, so many of the accused were the result of jealous neighbors. The witch trials seem a horrible way to get rid of neighbors you disliked. I have always been saddened when reading about these events.

Ana S. said...

This sounds SO incredibly sad. I think I'd love it, though. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.