In Daughters of the Witching Hill, Mary Sharratt brings history to life in a vivid and wrenching novel of strong women, family and betrayal inspired by the 1612 Pendle witch trials.
Bess Southerns, an impoverished widow, lives with her children in a crumbling old tower in Pendle Forest. Drawing on Catholic ritual, medicinal herbs, and guidance from her spirit-friend Tibb, Bess heals the sick and foretells the future in exchange for food and drink. As she ages, she instructs her best friend, Anne, and her granddaughter, Alizon, in her craft. Anne ultimately turns to dark magic, while Alizon struggles to accept the power she has inherited and dreams of a simpler life. But when a peddler suffers a stroke after exchanging harsh words with Alizon, a local magistrate tricks her into accusing her family and neighbors of witchcraft. Suspicion and paranoia reach frenzied heights as friends and loved ones turn on one another and the novel draws to an inevitable conclusion.
©2010 Mary Sharratt (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
An absolutely wonderful and touching story! Daughters of the Witching Hill brought tears to my eyes...Terry Donnelly is great as always - she is one of my favorite narrators. It was fascinating for me to understand this piece of 17th century's English history and culture. I am amazed how these poor unfortunates were able make a living using divination, begging and fear. Not a good living, but a temporary reprieve from hunger and cruelty of the surrounding world. Robbed of comforting catholic rituals and left with no protection against the powerful, women of the Pendle Hill had to fill the void in their souls and bellies by something - so called witchcraft. Said and uplifting at the same time, "Daughters of the Witching Hill" is well worth your time.
I love historical fiction. This is not one of the best ones, but is interesting. It is a sad story and kind of meanders along. A lot of the life details of these women are important to what happens in the end, but at points I was a little bored with the story. The narration took some getting used to because of a strong accent in the first part. Once you get to the second part it's much easier to understand. It's not one of my favorites but I'm glad I read it. It wasn't one where I couldn't wait to get back to it, but I did look up some of the real story online after I finished it and it made me think about how people treat each other and decisions we make in life.
I have to admit it was a bit slow, but methodical. It's almost like the author intended each page to linger in order for the reader to take in every little detail, and how I love the little details. The story is very sad, so if you are not into the realities of the injustices of the distant past, this book is not for you. But, I truly enjoyed it.
I am really not in to romance.. I like historic writing the are fiction but follow closely to historic time lines.
Alizon , I think because she wants so bad to be a good person.
I would love to see this be a movie but the movie writer are to dull to understand the concept.
Compelling, enriching and satisfying.
It was a great look into how dangerous it was to be a woman who dared to have a voice and the terror of a witch hunt.
The end was suspenseful
I thoroughly enjoyed this trip to the 1600's and the view of the lives of these women. I've done a bit of reenacting in my life but I have to say the story of these women's lives make me so thankful that for me it has been make believe and not real. However, the strength of these women just amazes me. They go through so much in their lives and yet no matter how hard things get for them they value their family and friendships so much that they go on no matter how rough the road gets. This tale is so realistic and believable and tells the story of the witches in a whole new way. I loved this book. I can't wait to give it to my daughter to listen to and see what she thinks of it.
I quite enjoyed the first half of this story, but the second half really dragged. Unfortunately it became repetitive and depressing, which made the ending less poignant. The settings and descriptions were pretty captivating, I just wish the story had more punch. It kind of petered out. By the way, this is not a spooky witch story, it's more reminiscent of "The Crucible" or "The Scarlet Letter."Very good narration and not bad overall.
I'm an avid audible book listener. I am a huge fan of supernatural books and like stuff that is scary but well written. I live in Denver Co
The book sweeps you in to the story quickly and the reader brings each person to life. I looked forward each day to picking up where I left off!
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