Sunday, January 4, 2009

2009 Support Your Local Library - The Heretic's Daughter

The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent

Yet another book gets crossed off the list. I enjoyed this one. I do have to say it was tough going at first. I was warned that it was slow but to stick with it. There were a few moments in the beginning where the story would pick up and hit it's stride but then it would bottom out again. I would say the book never really held my attention until the mother was arrested. From there the story picked up speed and I could not put it down. I loved that the narrator was 10 years old. It brought a different perspective to the story. I also loved how strong she was. There were many times I had to remind myself she was only 10 years old. She came across as being an old soul who was very wise in her years.

Here is a summary from about the book:

"A family's conflict becomes a battle for life and death in this gripping and original first novel based on family history from a descendant of a condemned Salem witch. After a bout of smallpox, 10-year-old Sarah Carrier resumes life with her mother on their family farm in Andover, Mass., dimly aware of a festering dispute between her mother, Martha, and her uncle about the plot of land where they live. The fight takes on a terrifying dimension when reports of supernatural activity in nearby Salem give way to mass hysteria, and Sarah's uncle is the first person to point the finger at Martha. Soon, neighbors struggling to eke out a living and a former indentured servant step forward to name Martha as the source of their woes. Sarah is forced to shoulder an even heavier burden as her mother and brothers are taken to prison to face a jury of young women who claim to have felt their bewitching presence. Sarah's front-row view of the trials and the mayhem that sweeps the close-knit community provides a fresh, bracing and unconventional take on a much-covered episode."

If you are interested in the Salem witch trials or stories that reflect on that time I recommend reading this book.

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