Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Book Review No. 36 - The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown

Hello again, welcome! Still hanging out in beautiful Texas. The weather has been a bit strange, big spring storms and then hot days have kept me inside the hotel room reading away. 
  I love a good historical fiction book, its probably my favorite genre of stories. I finished Beth Underdown's "The Witchfinder's Sister" in about three days; it was hard to put down. 
The story is told from Alice Hopkins point of view. She is the (fictitious) sister of the notorious Matthew Hopkins, a real witch hunter of the 17th century. Alice travels to her family home after becoming widowed and alone in London. As she becomes accustom to living with her mercurial younger brother, unsettling information about their past emerges. Trying to uncover the truth about her family's past, Alice comes entangle in Matthew's darkening plans.
 I've always been interested in the witch trials, the hysteria and likely political moves surrounding the innocent victims. Underdown does a masterful job recreating the tension and fear in the heart of rural England. She captures the village dynamics and cultural norms of the time, all which influence the main characters. I don't want to give too much away, but this is an excellent read. Well written, you get a good sense of the time period without getting bogged down. 
Great novel, I thoroughly enjoyed the read. If you enjoy historical fiction novels, I recommend. If you like strong female leads, I recommend. Some people may argue that Alice Hopkins isn't a strong character, but I think she is remarkable strong in her fortitude. If you like stories about the witch hunts, I think you will enjoy. On a side note, when we went to England last year we stayed in the Ipswich area this book takes place, which made it even more real for me. I nerded out a little bit!
That's all for me, I'm off to go do some book shopping. One benefit of a hotel near a book shop, I think I've visited it about 5 times already.
Until next time,

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