Monday, 14 October 2013

Witch Child - Celia Rees

Title: Witch Child - Celia Rees
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Series: Witch Child #1
Release Date: 04/06/2000
Pages: 234
Format: Paperback

Rating: ★1/2

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Pages from a journal are loosely sewn into a quilt. A quilt that lies undisturbed for more than three hundred years until it is carefully that apart for cleaning and out if its folds falls a powerful and moving story. The story of Mary – granddaughter of a witch.

Give me one word…

Why do you say that?

'Witch Child' is set back in the 1600s and follows the story of Mary Newbury. Mary is a 14 year old girl who lives with her grandmother in England. However that all changes when her grandmother is accused of being a witch and is hanged.

With instruction from her late grandmother, Mary’s story takes her across the ocean as she pretends to be a Puritan within a congregation. It’s thought that she will be safe with them. For the first portion of the book we join her on her journey across the sea. The voyage hints at witchcraft and superstition before landing in the town of Salem and venturing on to Beulah.

Mary’s constant trips into the forest where she (secretly) meets with natives and her close friendship with some of the people in the town do not hold her in good favour. When things start to happen around town that the pastors and elders can’t explain they need to find someone to point the finger at and the easiest solution? A witch.

I really enjoyed 'Witch Child' and found myself hooked from the very start.

The character of Mary is strong and independent and yet she has to be cautious in case she is found out for what she truly is. The supporting characters of Martha, Jaybird and Reverend Johnson were also well rounded and realistic.

It was interesting to see the events of the town being described. The Reverend Johnson is held as more of a prophet than a mere mortal. Also the description from the native Indians about how they had been forced out of their settlements intrigued me.

The book is split up into sections and the chapters into entries. Although there are a few of Mary’s entries that are slightly more boring and I felt could have been left out that would have defied the point. This is meant to be a journal and so if she felt it was important then it was mentioned.

If you are looking for a book containing spells and wands then this might not be for you. But if you are interested in old rituals, fleeting visions and odd happenings that can’t be explained then I suggest you pick this up.

Overall I felt that Celia Rees’s 'Witch Child' was what a historical fiction should be. Interesting, informative and leaving you questioning if it’s real.

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