Advance reader reviews of Daughters of the Witching Hill

Daughters of the Witching Hill

A Novel

by Mary Sharratt

Daughters of the Witching Hill
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published in USA  Apr 2010
    352 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book


Page 1 of 3
There are currently 18 member reviews
for Daughters of the Witching Hill
Order Reviews by:
  • Natalya M. (Medical Lake, WA)


    A cunning novel of witchcraft
    This book is a great historical fiction novel that puts together magic, religious persecution, and witch hunts. Bess Southerns a poor widow starts using her gifts to help those in her village. She teaches her cunning craft to her granddaughter and best friend. One goes to the dark side with the craft and a witch hunt begins. Before this novel I have only really heard about the Salem Witch Trials so this was a nice change. It was written beautifully in the first person. A lot of research went into this novel.
  • Colleen T. (Lakewood, CO)


    Daughters of the Witching Hill
    An amazing story. The author's excellent writing style puts you in the story so you feel as though you are actually there. I recommend this book highly.
  • Peg M. (Durham, NC)


    The Good Women of the Witching Hill
    Mary Sharratt has taken a piece of English history and made the women and their story come alive. Her occasional use of olde English-language words is initially unsettling but eventually infuses the story with an other-worldliness, without intruding on the narrative itself. Rather, the language is a subtle reminder that we are reading about a time in history when magic was real, and could be used for good or evil.

    The story revolves around two ‘cunning’ women and their families. Life is hard, begging for basic sustenance is the norm, and the wealthy have ultimate power over the people who are literally and figuratively beneath them. The Catholic Church is a main character in the story - as an underdog. The Reformation has taken place and the old trappings of the Catholic Church (Latin prayers, saints, rosaries, religious feast days and the Virgin Mary, for example) are forbidden. These once familiar icons and holidays grow in esteem by those who remember them, and are feared by the new generation growing up since their demise and the men who are now power-hungry in their Protestant austereness. The women who continue to call upon Mary and the saints for help are soon transformed in the eyes of the others into witches – their Latin prayers become devil worship, their blessings for good health are evidence of evil deeds.

    As can happen with people who have little or no political power or protection, the Daughters of the Witching Hill and a few of their men eventually become enmeshed in the struggle between good and evil, poverty and wealth. A small gathering of friends at the home of one of the Daughters is presented in a court trial as an act of treason against the King, resulting in several guilty verdicts and a punishment of death.

    But before the sad and inevitable ending, we are introduced to several strong women who live, love, laugh, cry and pray. The author’s descriptions of the characters’ acute awareness of Mother Nature and her many gifts invite the reader to use all five senses to understand. The author writes about Mother Nature the way Cameron directed the new world of Pandora – you believe you are there and everything is real.

    I found myself dawdling over this book as I neared the end. I enjoyed meeting these women; knowing how their story would end, I was in no hurry to say goodbye.
  • Mary M. (Lexingtin, KY)


    Fascinating Historical Novel
    I found this book to be interesting and well written. I knew nothing about the historical events it was based on. I sometimes have trouble relating to characters in historical novels, but from the first few pages I felt I knew Demdike. I cared about her and I cared what happened to her and her friends and family. It was easy to get lost in the time period and to feel like you knew the people and their world. I finished the book wanting to know more about the witch trials and the time period they took place in. I think a good book gets you interested in the subject beyond the book and this book did that for me. I will be reading more about the witch trials. I also feel I have discovered a new author since I have not read anything else by Mary Sharrat. I will be reading other books by her in the future.
  • Barbara B. (Alta Loma, CA)


    For History Lovers
    Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres and reading DAUGHTERS OF THE WITCHING HILL did not disappoint. Mary Sharratt's novel takes place in the 17th Century & tells the story of seven women & two men who were tried as witches. It is based on real people & factual events,told by two of the condemned, who have very strong voices.
    The characters came alive for me and the use of the language put me in the middle of all that was enfolding.
    I would suggest this book for book clubs, as the discussions can take different paths.
  • Jeanne M. (Vancouver, WA)


    Good and Evil
    "Daughters of the Witching Hill" is a historical novel that brings life to the seven women and two men who are accused of witchcraft. The stories are brought to life by Mother Demdike (Bess Southerns) and her granddaughter, Alizon. Mother Demdike sets the stage for understanding the world of Catholic folk magic in the time of the Reformation. Alizon continues the narration, giving life to each of the men and women who grapple with the world they are drawn into by the daily life, poverty, illness and imposed religion of the Reformation.

    Each character is thoughtfully developed, exploring their fears and everyday trials. We come to admire and have compassion for the lives of these men and women and the decisions they make to help those who need it and hinder those who are bent on ill-will.

    Fittingly, Mother Demdike add the coda to the resolution of the witch trials that ensue, Ann reminds the world that they will endure and remain a part of the lore of this time in history.
  • Barb W. (Mechanicsburg, PA)


    Couldn't put it down
    Loved this book, had a hard time putting it down. Having just read another book that lightly touched upon the Pendle witches, I was especially intrigued by this one, and it did not disappoint. I was transported back to the 1600s and easily got caught up in the story. I will definitely be recommending this to my friends, co-workers and our library's patrons who ask for "a good read"!
  • Page
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

One Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Book That Matters Most
    The Book That Matters Most
    by Ann Hood
    BookBrowse First Impression reviewers appreciated the innovative structure of The Book That Matters ...
  • Book Jacket: The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    by Scott Stambach
    BookBrowse First Impression reviewers were uniformly impressed by this difficult yet heartwarming ...
  • Book Jacket: Boy Erased
    Boy Erased
    by Garrard Conley
    Growing up in rural Arkansas, Garrard Conley did not quite fit the mold of his strait-laced, ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
    by Bryn Greenwood

    A memorable coming-of-age tale about loyalty, defiance, and the power of love.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Underground Airlines
    by Ben Winters

    "The Invisible Man meets Blade Runner in this outstanding alternate history thriller." - PW Star

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Lady Cop Makes Trouble

The Kopp Sisters Return!

One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Manners M (T) M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.