2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge

Tina has read 2 books toward her goal of 40 books.
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Friday, October 31, 2008

Guest Review for The Heretic's Daughter

HAPPY
HALLOWEEN






For those who read my blog regularly, you might be a little surprised by the fact that I am posting this book. You are right! The Heretics's Daughter is not really my type of book, so I asked my friend Avis to review it - so here is my guest review for The Heretic's Daughter. Thank you Avis and a big thanks to Miriam at Hachette books (as always!).


TITLE: Heretic's Daugther
AUTHOR: Kathleen kent
DATE: 2008

I must confess that I initially felt reluctant to read The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent. Although I was intrigued by the premise—it is the story of Martha Carrier, one of the so-called Salem witches, as told by her daughter Sarah—I was also worried the story would be grim, with too many gory details of what was done to the accused. In fact, my fears were completely unfounded—while Kent, a direct descendant of Martha Carrier, doesn't gloss over the atrocities committed in the name of religion during this period, she also doesn't linger on the more disturbing details. Once I'd started the book, I couldn't put it down—I stayed up half the night to finish it (sobbing quietly into my pillow at the end, to avoid waking my partner). It is, quite simply, the best book I've read all year.The Heretic's Daughter is primarily the story of Martha and Sarah's difficult mother-daughter relationship, set against the backdrop of the horrors of the Salem witch trials, arguably one of the worst periods of American history. Early on in the novel, Sarah describes her mother thus:
... She, with a deliberation bordering on the unseemly, set herself apart from what a woman should be and was as surprising as a flood or a brush fire. ... Martha Carrier was like a deep pond, the surface of which was placid enough but deeply cold to the touch and which was filled beneath the surface with sharp rocks and treacherous choke roots. And she had a tongue the sharpness of which would gut a man as quick as a Gloucester fisherman could clean a lamprey eel. (pp. 7-8)
I loved the language in this book—it felt authentic without being overwrought or difficult to follow. I also loved the use of dreams throughout the book to illustrate Sarah's state of mind. Finally, since I'm an amateur genealogist myself, I'm always curious to see how authors translate their family history into fiction. This novel paints a vivid portrait of life in Massachusetts in the late 17th century, but above all it is a tribute to Martha Carrier and her daughter: a moving story about courage and the power of love. I highly recommend it.Hachette has generously agreed to sponsor a giveaway of this book on my blog!

1 comment:

avisannschild said...

Thanks for posting my review (and for making the changes I suggested)!

 
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