The story is told through the eyes of 10 year old Sarah Carrier who has such a great character introduction: “I approached the world with suspicion, and because I was not pretty or pliable, I was not doted upon. I often challenged my betters and was therefore often chastised vigorously with a slotted spoon we children had named Iron Bessie.” Sarah, like many of the townspeople is at odds with her difficult, proud mother but comes to love and respect her during the course of the novel’s events.
More than half of the book explores the climate of the time, showing how a combination of small slights, neighborly disputes, spite and misguided religious furor could lead to something as monumentally wrong as the imprisonment and hanging of a great number of innocent people. The latter portion of the novel concerns the witch trials and the despicable conditions of 17th century prisons.
It’s well researched historical fiction with a compelling narrative and a sympathetic narrator. Plus the author has a special reason to tell the tale and do it justice – she’s a tenth generation descendant of Martha Carrier.
I read this as part of a Blog Stops Book Tour so head over there to read reviews from other bloggers.
The Heretic's Daughter is out now in hardcover.