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The Heretic's Daughter (2008)

by Kathleen Kent

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2,2361845,374 (3.81)223
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)
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English (181)  Dutch (3)  All languages (184)
Showing 1-5 of 181 (next | show all)
I have been reading a lot of books on Salem and the witch trials. This book stands out among them all for having a very vivid aura, told from the first person perspective, which greatly enhances the feeling of authenticity. Too many of the books are just a regurgitation of the historic records. This book brings the story of Martha Carrier and her particular family to life. I highly recommend it. ( )
  Designwise | Oct 23, 2021 |
Very interesting read. ( )
  3CatMom | Dec 28, 2020 |
Wow. Well written but terrifying and sad, it is the best book I’ve read on the Salem Witch trials. The horrors and the unbelievable stupidity and over zealousness of the accusers and the judges is eerily familiar in these dark days as we strive to save our country and our world from the incompetence, greed, and ignorance of Trump and his minions. ( )
  LoriFox | Oct 24, 2020 |
I picked the Heretic’s Daughter off my shelf thinking I could just blow through it, that it would be just “okay” and I could give it away. I was pleasantly surprised when I blew through it, not because it was mediocre, but because it was very interesting. I like that it is a framed narrative, and that the whole story is a letter to the main character’s granddaughter. It feels like Kathleen Kent put a lot of research into the book. The honest sense of the struggle to survive in harsh conditions with harsher neighbors permeates the book. Kent gives us the bitter cold in the winter, the fact that if your father did not successfully hunt you went hungry, the real danger of a fire, or rot in your fields that will make your entire winter not just miserable but life-threatening. And on top of that there is mass hysteria running rampant through the countryside and being a social outcaste was much more a cause to be blamed for witchcraft than any dabbling in the black arts.
Kent did a good job making this a multi-layered story without it becoming cluttered or confusing. Uncle Roger tells stories to and spends a lot of time with Margaret and Sarah, but he also drinks and runs out on his wife. He is very kind to Sarah while she is in his house, but also insulting of Sarah’s father. And there is still a feeling that there is something beyond what we know-not necessarily witchcraft, but her mother and grandmother’s sight—that they sometimes have a feeling that someone is coming or something is going to happen, and her cousin Margaret’s “elfin look” and her little people in the cupboard who tell her to do things. Uncle Roger’s use of “conjuration” to get rid of witches. But of course, these are not the kinds of things that get people condemned of witchcraft. You are much more likely to be condemned if your crops do better than your neighbors, or you have a sharp tongue—or if you bring disease to town or are a foreigner. ( )
  renardkitsune | Jul 14, 2019 |
The author is a descendent of one of the witches tried and hanged in Salem, MA in 1692. This historical fiction novel is told through the voice of the witch's daughter, Sarah. The story is of her life from childhood to the trial of her mother as well as her own time in prison. Very well writeen, informative, yet told in an easy way. ( )
  Beth.Clarke | Jun 28, 2019 |
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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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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.

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Hachette Book Group

5 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0316024481, 1600244505, 0316037532, 031602449X, 1600248233

 

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