The year is 1507, and a friar has arrived in Tierkinddorf, a remote German village nestled deeply in the woods. The village has been suffering a famine, and the villagers are desperately hungry. The friars arrival is a miracle, and when he claims he can restore the town to prosperity, the men and women gathered to hear him rejoice. The friar has a book called the Malleus MaleficarumThe Witchs Hammera guide to gaining confessions of witchcraft. The friar promises he will identify the guilty woman who has brought Gods anger upon the town; she will be burned, and bounty will be restored. Tierkinddorf is filled with hope. Neighbors wonder aloud who has cursed them and how quickly can she be found? They begin sharing secrets with the friar.
Güde Müller, an elderly woman, has stark and frightening visionsrecently she has seen things that defy explanation. None in the village know this, and Güde herself worries that perhaps her mind has begun to wandercertainly she has outlived all but one of her peers in Tierkinddorf. Yet of one thing she is absolutely certain: She has become an object of scorn and a burden to her sons wife. In these desperate times her daughter-in-law would prefer one less hungry mouth at the family table. As the friar turns his eye on each member of the tiny community, Güde dreads what her daughter-in-law might say to win his favor.
Then one terrible night Güde follows an unearthly voice and the scent of charred meat into the snow-filled woods. Come morning, she no longer knows if the horror she witnessed was real or imagined. She only knows that if the friar hears of it, she may be damned in this life as well as the next.
Like Gude, the reader is not clear whether what she experiences is real, or not. Is she indeed a witch or just a good woman caught up in bad times? Whether witchcraft is real or not is simply not at issue here because, for the people of Tierkinddorf, it is undisputed fact and Mailman sets her characters' hearts and minds firmly in their milieu, there is no heroic character laboring moral points with an enlightened sensibility centuries ahead of his or her time. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
The San Francisco Chronicle - Laurel Maury The Witch's Trinity is quietly wonderful. If there is a flaw, it's that it should have had more dreaming. The unanswered questions are deeply satisfying, and it's Güde's dreams and the bits of paganism, which seem like the village's own dream, that fuel them. But the story has an unshakable emotional truth. And the author is faithful to it; she never pauses to try to make a point. That's the reader's job.
Fans of supernatural fiction will want to give this a look.
Mailman probes the human psyche, peeling back the layers of the basest human instincts to expose the dangerous frailties of the human soul.
Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner
A well-constructed novel and a gripping, well-told story of faith and truth.
#1 New York Times bestselling author of The Kite Runner
James Morrow, author of The Last Witchfinder
A linguistic enchantress has arrived among us, gifted in transmogrifying the mundanities of historical fiction into tableaux of indelible terror and abiding beauty.
Holly Payne, author of The Virgin’s Knot The Witch's Trinity is one of those mind-bending histories that make you wonder how many women in the 16th century hid in fear of being condemned for their healing powers. Erika Mailman superbly re-creates the terror of the women who lost, and the hope of those who managed to survive, the most egregious war of the sexes.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Vicki McReynolds Chilling and Moving I finished this remarkable little book in one sitting. Narrated by a poor elderly woman in the Middle Ages, this distinctive voice of Gude, as much as the story itself, offers a window to a not so long ago word world where pagan and early... Read More
Rated of 5
by Cyndy Bewitchingly Good Read A dark and unsettling tale of women living in a time when paganism and the Church ran the lives of the villages and villagers. Imagine being accused of the cause of failed crops, soured milk or infertility on the basis of one neighbor's spiteful... Read More
About the Witchhunts
The period of the 'Great
European Witch-hunt's' started
around 1450. There are many
theories as to why the
witch-hunts started in the first
place (which are neatly outlined
website - which, should be
noted, belongs to a Catholic
College); but the flames were
certainly fed by Pope Innocent VIII's 1484 papal bull, in which
he condemned an alleged outbreak
of witchcraft and heresy in the
Rhine River valley and deputized
the authors of
Malleus Maleficarum (a
judicial case-book for the
detection and persecution of
as The Hammer of Witches)
to root out all witchcraft in
Persecution died out in the
early 1700s with the...
A story that feels mythical or folkloric, that is driven by a mystery, throbs with tension, and ends in conflagration. Rubys Spoon combines a gritty, hypervivid realism with the dreamlike richness of a fable.
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