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Excerpt from The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The Heretic's Daughter

A Novel

by Kathleen Kent

The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent X
The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2008, 352 pages

    Oct 2009, 368 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Lucia Silva
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About this Book

Print Excerpt

I sat shivering, hidden in the frozen straw piled into the wagon, and held on tightly to a restless, struggling Hannah. We were leaving against the quarantine and so must sneak out in the dark of night like thieves. If we were caught, the entire family could go to the jailer. If any of us were left alive, that is, after the pox had spent its fire. Mother's mouth was pinched tightly as she handed me a bundle of food and a few pieces of clothing. I had expected few words of comfort beyond caring for Hannah, but she straightened my cap with a firm grip, and her fingers lingered overly long at the laces.

Grandmother came with her knuckles pressed over her lips and, handing me a small bundle, said, "Now is the time to give you this." I unwrapped the cloth and saw it was a poppet fully clothed, with strands of wool on its head dyed in reddish tint to match my own hair. The mouth was made from the tiniest stitches.

"But she has no buttons for eyes," I said. Grandmother smiled and kissed my hands.

"I had not time to finish it. We shall sew some on when you are returned to us," she whispered.

Tom waved with a weak hand as Father shook the reins and we started south, back towards Billerica. We had gone but a short distance when we heard Tom calling out to us. He ran to the wagon and pressed something into my palm, closing my fingers back again so I would not drop it. He then turned and ran back towards the house. I opened my fist to find two small white buttons torn from his only good shirt resting in my hand like twin pearls. I would often worry during that long, cold season that the wind was finding its way up his open sleeves, making him feel the bite of winter all the more.

Copyright © 2008 by Kathleen Kent

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