Posted by: Nyxks | June 5, 2007

Witch Child

Witch Child
by Celia Rees © 2000
Candlewick Press
ISBN 0-7636-1421-2
261 pages + preview of Sorceress
$8.99 (U.S.)
Reviewed by: Mike Gleason

What must it have been like to have lived in the mid-1600s? This novel addresses that question and adds a few more variables for good measure. Imagine yourself female, parents unknown, grandmother (who raised you) accused of (and executed for) being a witch. Then, just to further complicate matters, imagine yourself being sent from the only home you have ever known (a small English village), to be sent across the ocean to America – to live with a group of Puritans. Oh, and did I forget to mention that you are a Witch? Just a minor complication, I am sure.

The bulk of the book occurs in Massachusetts, prior to the outbreak of the hysteria of 1692. Ms. Rees obviously knows her history and her locations. There is a feel of authenticity in her writing.

This is not a book about witchcraft and witches. It is a historical novel which incorporates a great deal of folk wisdom and superstition. It is a thoroughly enjoyable story which is both entertaining and informative.

Ms. Rees seems to have a real understanding and feel for the times and an ability to convey that to the reader. Her imagery comes alive and draws the reader ever deeper into the story.

This book ends in a completely unexpected way, which, in turn, sets up the sequel (Sorceress), which I hope to have the pleasure to review at a later date.


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