Monday, October 17, 2016
31 Days of Halloween - Day 17
Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt
Mariner Books. 2010.
Of all the books I've posted so far this month, this one is my favorite. Based on true events that took place at the end of the 16th century, Daughters of the Witching Hill tells the story of an impoverished family living in an old tower in the woods. The family is led by Bess Southerns, a Cunning woman, who uses a mixture of herbology, prayer, and perhaps some gifts given to her by her familiar, Tibb, to heal the local sick and livestock. This gift is not present in Bess's daughter, Liza, but seems to be the destiny of her granddaughter, Alizon, who resists her calling. The story, told from the perspective of Bess and, later, Alizon, is an intimate look at their lives at home and in the surrounding community, and is a slow burn leading up to the tragedy that will destroy them that hits hard when it comes. This is an extremely well written book that transports you into the middle of the story. I highly recommend it.