She was locked in the keep for more than a week. First they walked her up and down, up and down between them, for a day and a night until she could no longer hobble, her feet all bloody and swollen. She would not confess. So they set about to prove she was a witch...
Mary's grandmother is executed for witchcraft, and Mary is forced to leave her home to avoid the same fate. At first she flees to the English countryside, but when the atmosphere of superstition and suspicion becomes all consuming she leaves on a boat for America in the hope that she can start over and forget her past. But during the journey, she realises that the past is not so easy to escape.
Witch Child is a complex, absorbing novel, told in the form of pages from a journal found loosely sewn into an old quilt many years later. From the moment the story begins, the tension is tangible, and the reader is drawn into a world of mistrust and uncertainty that shakes to the core. All this is cleverly conveyed through the eyes of Mary, whose first sense of wide-eyed wonder gradually develops a mature understanding of her situation, drawing the reader in to a dark and dangerous world where the tiniest slip could mean death.
Celia Rees, always a fine writer, tackles her subject with serious and sensitive aplomb, bringing together a sense of history with an extraordinarily powerful and thrilling story that is unforgettable.--Susan Harrison
-- "Horn Book Magazine"