Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Heretic's Daughter

A family's struggle for life, liberty, and happiness during the Salem Witch Trials

Kathleen Kent holds great promise as an historical novelist as evidenced by her debut novel The Heretic’s Daughter. In the Heretic’s Daughter, readers will see the Salem Witch Trials through the eyes of an accused child witch and her family. The author takes us deep inside the horrid conditions of the jailed accused and a family’s struggle to stay alive. It is there, in the last half of the book that the author shows incredible skill in storytelling. I was shocked and saddened to learn how the accused were left jailed, in chains, hungry, and confined in unsanitary surroundings. A couple of incidents are sure to be completely heartbreaking to everyone who picks up this book.

This book brought to me a new appreciation for our current justice system and religious freedoms. My primary criticism of this book is that the chapters are incredibly long. I don’t like picking up a book and not being able to finish a chapter in a sitting. Many chapters in this book will take an hour to read. It would have been nice if the chapters were shorter. Despite a slow and awkward beginning, once I was halfway through the book I was completely immersed in the storyline and finished the book quickly.

In my opinion, this is a must read book for fans of early American historical fiction.


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