Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Heretic’s Daughter - Kathleen Kent

The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent is the story of Sarah Carrier and how she barely survived the Salem witch trials. After small pox reaches her family, Sarah and her infant sister go to live with the aunt she doesn’t know. After taking them in, Sarah’s aunt, uncle and cousin take her and her sister more warmth than Sarah has ever known from her mother. When Sarah moves back in with her parents, she experiences the brutality of witchcraft accusations as well as gaining a better understanding of her mother and father.

This beautifully written story takes you not only through the dramatic witch craze, but also through the life of a girl trying to live. Sarah is an extraordinary girl who is forced to overcome some of the most unbearable circumstances of that time.

This is not just another story about the Salem witch trials (although I probably would have love it the same even if it was) but it is a story about Massachusetts from 1690-1692. This book brought to life the other fears of the time, such as small pox and Indian attacks as well as the fight just to have enough food each year. Then, on top of all the things they must endure, they are suddenly fighting against crazy accusations.

For the first time I saw the Salem witch trials not just as an insane period but as a true event. This book touched me with a reality that no other book of the time has done before. I finally saw past the fear, back-stabbing, and drama and began to understand that many people had to create a life in jail. Kent portrays this life in a way that I have not fully understood until now.

**I received this book through a giveaway win from The Sweet Bookshelf.


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I like this one a lot when I read it last year. (Most books about Salem/witch trials appeal to me). Great review.

Anonymous said...

This book affected me similarly too. It was so well-written and took me back to that time and place, as well as Hannah's eyes. Very powerful.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I loved this book. Kathleen Kent did a great job getting to the heart of things and her descriptions of life in the small towns way back when was fascinating.

Unknown said...

Great review. You just reminded me that I've been meaning to read this book... ;-)

Anonymous said...

I have this one on my shelf and really need to find the time to read it. Great review!