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WITCH CHILD (original 2000; edition 2002)


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1,675554,270 (3.73)59
Info:Scholastic (2002), Paperback, 260 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:To Be Read--I Own

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Witch Child by Celia Rees (2000)


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English (51)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (55)
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
This was a great book to read. The writing really drew me into the story. It's written like a diary and I believe this was the perfect style to put across the idiocy and superstitious clap trap that prevailed during early colonial times. I found myself becoming frustrated reading the actions of the townspeople. It just seems so idiotic to revert to a backward style of living. Having read this I see similarities to today with fear and paranoia of different religions taking hold. Hopefully thing don't progress to the heights they did during the 1600's. I highly recommend reading this novel. ( )
  Arkrayder | Apr 23, 2016 |
Great tension and a great reader made up for the drab and simplistic characters and narrative. ( )
  LaPhenix | Nov 22, 2015 |
Ugh. It started decently enough - intriguing (though I hate the "this is real, I swear it is!" trope); however, it descended into yet another Salem witch trial derivative. So much so that some scenes appeared to come straight from The Crucible. Oh well... ( )
  benuathanasia | Nov 16, 2015 |
This was such an interesting book and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel "Sorceress". It is written in diary form, the diary pages secreted away inside a quilt sewn by the author and discovered much later. The diary is written by Mary, who, at the beginning of the story is living with a woman she calls her grandmother. Her grandmother is accused of being a witch and during her execution, Mary is whisked away by a wealthy stranger. Mary discovers she has a connection to this stranger, but she can't stay with her. The plan is to send her across the sea to the new colonies being formed by Puritans escaping persecution in England. Life is not easy in the new colony, but Mary makes friends with an elderly healer named Martha, and several others in the new community. The pious minister of the community is suspicious of Mary and often preaches against witchcraft. After several girls in the community start behaving strangely, an "expert" is called upon to determine whether the behavior is the result of witchcraft. The "expert" turns out to be the same one who condemned Mary's grandmother to death, and he recognizes Mary right away. The book has a surprise ending (of sorts), and although the story does not really resolve, there are some conclusions that can be drawn. Throughout the story, Mary admits to being a witch and does seem to have some interesting powers, but her persecution feels so very sad. ( )
  daatwood | Nov 21, 2013 |
Other than thinking it a good book, I wish to mention that of the wonders that Elias Cornwell is writing about in chapter 72, the invisible drummer boys may refer to the 'Reports of cannon and rifle shots and beating of drums in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire were widespread in 1658, two years before the Tedworth trouble.' [from the 'Drummer of Tedworth' entry in The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft & Demonology by Rossell Hope Robbins. My copy is the 1981 edition published by Crown Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-517-362457. I note that it's a book about witchcraft trials and is not for the squeamish.

Thank you, Ms. Rees, for having Mary fear hanging, not burning. According to the same Robbins encyclopedia's entry on witchcraft in England, witches were not burned in that country, unlike Scotland or the European continent. There's even a list of penalties for witchcraft from 1543 - 1736. Burning was for treason. Witches were hanged. Salem followed the English practice, although Giles Corey was pressed to death. ( )
  JalenV | Nov 9, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Celia Reesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eriksson, MonaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mustain, WolfgangCover photographsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I am Mary. I am a witch.
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Book description
When Mary sees her grandmother accused of witchcraft and hanged for the crime, she is silently hurried to safety by an unknown woman. The woman gives her tools to keep the record of her days - paper and ink. Mary is taken to a boat in Plymouth and from there sails to the New World where she hopes to make a new life among the pilgrims. But old superstitions die hard and soon Mary finds that she, like her grandmother, is the victim of ignorance and stupidity, and once more she faces important choices to ensure her survival. With a vividly evoked environment and characters skilfully and patiently drawn, this is a powerful literary achievement by Celia Rees that is utterly engrossing from start to finish.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0763618292, Paperback)

During the witch hunts of the mid-1600s, many young Englishwomen died on the gallows, innocent victims of false or hysterical accusations of witchcraft. But what of those women who actually claimed the name "witch" as their own? In the pages of her secret journal, Mary Nuttall reveals what it is like to live in a climate of mistrust and piety in which differences are dangerous and rumors can kill, where she must hide her heritage as a healer and pagan. With a sure hand, she describes her beloved grandmother's trial and hanging as a witch, her own rescue by a mysterious noblewoman, and her eventual passage to the New World and the forest settlement of Beulah. There Mary falls under a curtain of suspicion when she willingly chooses to explore the dark woods shunned by the fearful colonists and makes friends with some of the spiritual native people. When several girls in the community begin to shriek and swoon, and the same minister who damned Mary's grandmother comes to search for signs of witchcraft, Mary is subjected to close and deadly scrutiny.

Breaking with most historical fiction about witchcraft (such as Elizabeth Speare's The Witch of Blackbird Pond), British author Celia Rees raises the stakes and the tension by placing a real witch at the center of her story. Witch Child is an engrossing, suspenseful novel that will cast a spell over both readers of historical fiction and fans of witchcraft series from Circle of Three to Sweep. --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:23 -0400)

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In 1659, fourteen-year-old Mary Newbury keeps a journal of her voyage from England to the New World and her experiences living as a witch in a community of Puritans near Salem, Massachusetts.

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