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Daughters of the Witching Hill

"Daughters" is by our very own hagazusa, Mary Sharratt. I'd been trying to get my hands on a copy for months, but for some reason the USPS could not connect me with Amazon.

Finally everything came together. This is not a fantasy novel or a Barbara Walker-esque screed on the "Burning Times". The Southerns family were real people in 16th and early 17th century Lancashire, England. The matriarch of this impoverished little clan was Elizabeth, aka Mother Demdike, a woman with a gift as a "blesser". Mother Demdike was a practitioner of the Old Religion you see, namely Catholicism.

Mary Sharratt lives in the Pendle area of Lancashire and the novel is based on 1612 witch trials. The charms Mother Demdike knows and teaches to her daughter and granddaughter are out of folk Catholicism. The novel is earthy and full of a sense of place.

There is a fair amount of exposition because the novel covers over eight decades. Despite this, it never feels rushed and it slows even more at the most important things, namely, Mother Demdike's joy and love in her grandchildren as well as her heartbreak when her best friend turns to black magic and her disappointment when her daughter and granddaughters fail to pick up the mantle of local cunning woman.

Unfortunately, they learn just too much to get them into trouble....

Mary Sharratt did her research painstakingly and her connection to the locality comes through on every page. I wish I hadn't waited so long to read this, and I'll be passing my copy along so others read it as well.

Her next novel is on Hildegard of Bingen. Can't wait.



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 11th, 2011 09:27 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for your kind words! If you wanted to write a review on Amazon, that would be awesome! <3
Jul. 11th, 2011 03:24 pm (UTC)
Jul. 11th, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you!!!!! <3
Jul. 11th, 2011 01:00 pm (UTC)
Sounds wonderful! I want to read it!
Jul. 11th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
It's on sale at Amazon right now. You should read it, it's very good.
Jul. 12th, 2011 02:30 am (UTC)
The reviews of all her books on Amazon are excellent. Not the Publishers Weekly one so much, but the actual readers - not just 2 or 3 readers either - lots of ratings, lots of stars. I will get it. Historical fiction is my fave.
Jul. 12th, 2011 01:38 am (UTC)
It's a wonderful read. I really enjoyed it too. I'll come up with something rather coherent and mildly articulate to post on Amazon too.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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