8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Completely bewitched by this story,
This review is from: Daughters of the Witching Hill (Paperback)
My goodness this woman can WRITE an engrossing tale! Having read and loved The Vanishing Pointand Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard Von Bingen I knew she was an author whose work I can get into easily and enjoy - but I don't think I'd fully realized quite how diverse her talent is - there's no way you could pigeonhole her work, as she always seems to take a different subject that really interests her - researches it throughly and then immerses herself in that period of history, or puts herself in that persons mind and what emerges is so interesting and fascinating you can't help but believe in the characters and be swept along by the story.
Daughters of the witching hill is perhaps my favourite of her works yet - based on the true subject of the Pendle witch trials in Lancashire, something I knew a little about, she fictionalizes the stories of the women tried for witchcraft in the early 1600s when superstition and religious hatred was rife and opressed and poverty stricken common people had little else to fire their imginations and King James 1st in his fervour of desire to oust witches and the old religions writes a book on how to spot a witch and begins a fever of witch hunts which are sure to ensnare the innocent ans well as the truly evil.
The story of the notorious Pendle witches - Chattox, old Demdike and her squint eyed daughter Liza and grand daughter Alizon tell their life story and although there is magic, it's really more a story about the place (or lack of it) in society of poor women and the effects of poverty, You can really feel what it would have been like to have to beg for every mouthful of bread, try and earn an honest crust and have to put up with many injustices just because you weren't born privileged.
It's very descriptive and although the majority of the story is about the background of the women's lives, the actual trial and the result was deeply moving. Will appeal to anyone interested in women in historical situations, witchcraft or just a darn good period read.