To read the rules for my giveaway of this book, click here.
The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent
Release date: Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Reviewed for Blog Stop Book Tours
Sarah Carrier is a young girl from an unliked family living in Massachusetts at the end of th 17th century. Her father is too tall, too quiet, and greatly feared by other men – rumors about him abound. Sarah’s mother, though, Martha Carrier, she is the one who provokes the most discomfort in the neighbors. Martha is an incredibly strong, often abrasive woman. She is sure of her own opinion and nothing will keep her from speaking her mind. This incredibly strong will is not looked upon kindly by the Puritan society in which they live.
Like their neighbors, Sarah is also frequently at odds with her mother. She feels that Martha is distant, cold, and bossy. She wishes for a mother more like her aunt Mary, more like society’s expectation of a wife and mother.
That is, of course, until the world in which they live turns upside down. A few young girls in Salem begin denouncing people for witchcraft, and the accusations spread like the plague. Martha has infuriated far too many of the people around her by standing up for her own beliefs to be left alone for long. As the madness builds, Sarah realizes that her mother’s strength and defiance is the only thing that stands between her and Gallows Hill.
I thought this book was remarkably well done, particularly considering that this is Kent’s first novel. Everything was clearly meticulously researched and carried all the more emotional strength because Kent is herself a tenth-generation descendant of Martha Carrier. I have long been interested in what happened at the Salem Witch Trials, and this book offered a fantastic and very personal perspective. I would definitely recommend this book to both those interested in historical fiction and those interested in studying how it is that people can so fervently persecute those around them.