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The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
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The Heretic's Daughter (2008)

by Kathleen Kent

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Showing 1-5 of 177 (next | show all)
Sarah Carrier is the daughter of Thomas and Martha Carrier, hardworking, morally upright residents of Andover in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Unfortunately, it's the early 1690s, and the Salem witch hysteria is beginning.

One of five children, and at ten the older of the two girls, Sarah has to work hard to help maintain the family home, and life gets both harder and scarier when her mother is one of the first women accused of witchcraft. The accusations come first from a jealous relative who wants part of the Carrier property, and then are supported by some local young women, including the Carriers' former indentured servant. Over the next year, Sarah gets a painful education in human nature, the courage and devotion of her parents, and the values she herself will make the core of her life.


As the witch hysteria progresses, each of Sarah's three brothers and finally Sarah herself are all accused and arrested, and join their mother in the horrific conditions of the Salem jail. Their father brings food every few days, as often as he can--it is necessary to pay the sheriff for admittance and visiting time. The sheriff's wife offers pittances in food and water in exchange for the prisoners' clothing if she deems it in salable condition; another little degradation on top of the others. As the hysteria runs its course, each week sees some prisoners taken from the jail to be executed, while some in the community work to counter the hysteria and to get the governor and the great preacher Increase Mather to see what Increase's son Cotton Mather and other fanatics and hysterics in the community have wrought.

The story is framed by Sarah's reflections and further discoveries as an adult about her parents' surprising history prior to moving to Massachusetts Bay Colony. This is a deeply moving story and, while it's a novel, it is based on the life of the real Martha Carrier, a tenth-generation ancestor of the author, Kathleen Kent.

Recommended.

I borrowed this book from a friend. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
Sarah Carrier is the daughter of Thomas and Martha Carrier, hardworking, morally upright residents of Andover in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Unfortunately, it's the early 1690s, and the Salem witch hysteria is beginning.

One of five children, and at ten the older of the two girls, Sarah has to work hard to help maintain the family home, and life gets both harder and scarier when her mother is one of the first women accused of witchcraft. The accusations come first from a jealous relative who wants part of the Carrier property, and then are supported by some local young women, including the Carriers' former indentured servant. Over the next year, Sarah gets a painful education in human nature, the courage and devotion of her parents, and the values she herself will make the core of her life.

As the witch hysteria progresses, each of Sarah's three brothers and finally Sarah herself are all accused and arrested, and join their mother in the horrific conditions of the Salem jail. Their father brings food every few days, as often as he can--it is necessary to pay the sheriff for admittance and visiting time. The sheriff's wife offers pittances in food and water in exchange for the prisoners' clothing if she deems it in salable condition; another little degradation on top of the others. As the hysteria runs its course, each week sees some prisoners taken from the jail to be executed, while some in the community work to counter the hysteria and to get the governor and the great preacher Increase Mather to see what Increase's son Cotton Mather and other fanatics and hysterics in the community have wrought.

The story is framed by Sarah's reflections and further discoveries as an adult about her parents' surprising history prior to moving to Massachusetts Bay Colony. This is a deeply moving story and, while it's a novel, it is based on the life of the real Martha Carrier, a tenth-generation ancestor of the author, Kathleen Kent.

Recommended.

I borrowed this book from a friend. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
I love books about Salem, and this is one of the best in the fictional category I've ever read! ( )
  DanNimak | Jan 22, 2018 |
I am not sure what I was expecting when I bought this book. I have read other books based on the Salem Witch Trials. I am always disturbed by the way powerful men can persuade a group of people to turn on others and believe outlandish things but I'm also amazed at how people seem to want to be lead. The part of the book that describes what these innocent people suffered is horrific and reminded me of the holocaust. Ms Kent did a realistic portrayal of the trial and the jail scenes that leaves you very moved. It made me realize that I don't think humanity is going to ever learn from its past and learn to stop one powerful group from using fear to destroy another group. It seems to happen about every 50 years or so. As far as this accounting, I found the beginning a bit unattached to the title and what I was expecting, so I was impatient to actually get to the witch hunt part. The early groundwork part was good but I didn't want to read that part. So I must give this 3 stars since it left me feeling unsatisfied as a whole. ( )
  theeccentriclady | Dec 7, 2017 |
so dull ( )
  Heldin | Oct 15, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 177 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Ah, children, be afraid of going prayerless to bed, lest the Devil be your bedfellow.
—Cotton Mather from a funeral service
Dedication
This book is dedicated to Mitchell and Joshua

And to my parents, John and Audrey, for giving me the stories.
First words
The distance by wagon from Billerica to neighboring Andover is but nine miles.
Quotations
The chief judge then asked Mother, "What do you say to this you are charged with?"

Mother's voice sounded loud and clear through to the back of the room, "I have not done it."
I see the world, Sarah, and call it by what I feel it should be, not by what others who in their dull reveries think it is.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Sarah Carrier and Martha, her mother, who live on the family farm in Andover, Massachusetts, endure a dispute with Sarah's uncle about their plot, and when reports of supernatural activity in nearby Salem escalate into mass hysteria, people begin accusing Martha and her family of being witches.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316024481, Hardcover)

Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live. Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superstitious tyranny that led to the torture and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft. This is the story of Martha's courageous defiance and ultimate death, as told by the daughter who survived.
Kathleen Kent is a tenth generation descendent of Martha Carrier. She paints a haunting portrait, not just of Puritan New England, but also of one family's deep and abiding love in the face of fear and persecution.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:37 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live. Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superstitious tyranny that led to the torture and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft. This is the story of Martha's courageous defiance and ultimate death, as told by the daughter who survived.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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