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Publisher's Summary

Conceived on May Morning, Nell is claimed by the piskies and faeries as a merrybegot, one of their own. She is a wild child: herb gatherer and healer, spell-weaver and midwife...and, some say, a witch.

Grace is everything Nell is not. She is the Puritan minister's daughter: beautiful and refined, innocent and sweet-natured...to those who think they know her. But she is hiding a secret, a secret that will bring everlasting shame to her family should it ever come to light.

A merrybegot and a minister's daughter, two girls who could not have less in common. Yet their fates collide when Grace and her younger sister, Patience, are suddenly spitting pins, struck with fits, and speaking in fevered tongues. The minister is convinced his daughters are the victims of witchcraft. And all signs point to Nell as the source of the trouble.

Set during the tumultuous era of the English Civil War, The Minister's Daughter is a spellbinding page-turner; stunning historical fiction that captures the superstition, passion, madness, and magic of a vanished age.

©2005 Julie Hearn; (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

"Engaging characters and a palpable sense of place combine with an accessible, clear style to make this a satisfying read." (School Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    29
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good historical fiction

I got this due to my wife's recommendation for a "different" book. The author did a fair job working the story, I was a little lost at first, but caught on quickly (still new to audio books).

the story line keeps well with the 1600's view on witches and witchcraft. intersting facts, and different points of view help keep the book interesting and moving. I also approve of the narrator, whose voice was easy to follow.

overall a 4 star, not my prefered type of book, but good.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed this book

This book takes you to 1640s England during a time of witch hunts. It is historical fiction with a twist of magic (fairies and peskies). The themes are very mature and dark (maybe not appropriate for some young adults) – such as women getting dunked or hung for practicing witchcraft. What I really liked about the book was it showed two perspectives – one of the so called “witch” and one of the accuser. You can see how this tangle unfolded and see how the accuser needed a scape goat for her own sins. It was a trying time to live in sin-free puritan England. I would recommend this book but I should say that I started out not liking it for about the first hour. The minister was the clear villain and such a vile man. I did not like that the minister was painted as such an evil man and thought the book would paint Christianity just as black. In the end it showed more of how the minister might have become the way he was and gave more insight into his life. What a tragic time to live in when the fear of sinning or being different was so overwhelming. I love the narrator, though it took some time to get used to her many thick accents. Very well done and the ending has a delicious surprising twist!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Enjoyable

This was a sweet story. The life and times of a merry begot and a cunning woman's daughter. There are extremely fascinating details about fairies and pixies. Lots of descriptions of the way a herb gatherer, midwife, and healer was treated in the 1600's. I love historical fiction and this story did not disappoint me.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Hearing for the first time was great!

If you get the chance to read or listen to this book, I think you will totally understand why I like it so much.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

SAME book as The Merrybegot!

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Don't accidentally buy this mediocre book twice!! I bought both The Merrybegot and The Minister's Daughter because, after reading the description, I thought one was the sequel to the other. Turns out, they are the same book. The narrator is different, but identical books. Really annoying to pay twice for a book that was mediocre at best. It makes me wonder how closely Audible vets the books it buys and/or whether the author/'s agent was deliberately boosting sales by a name change. Feel cheated.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Make it different from the SAME book (word for word, same author), by a different title.

What didn’t you like about Heather O'Neill’s performance?

Shrill! Her efforts to sound like a giggling or squealing pre adolescent girl were ear splitting and ughly. This is the first time I've ever encountered a narrator that I truly did not enjoy. It was painful.

Did The Minister's Daughter inspire you to do anything?

Yes.... to write this review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Derek
  • simi valley, CA, United States
  • 07-28-11

LOVED IT!

Just a great book. It was actually difficult to stop listening to. It left me wanting to know what happens next....

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • Anderson, SC, United States
  • 01-07-11

Long Live Nell!!!

I really enjoyed the parts about Nell, her grandmother and the chicken! A times this book had me screaming in the car at the minister's daughters for the evilness in them (which are in some children & thanking God I don't have any) & pinning the blame on others & get a way with it. Just like the witch trials... It always gets my blood boiling mad.

When the author brings in an unexpected historical person is even better.


  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

a mild recomendation

I have read a lot better, but this is not a total waste of time. Entertaining but forgetable

1 of 3 people found this review helpful