184 of 185 people found the following review helpful
Scary reading on several levels,
This review is from: The Heretic's Daughter: A Novel (Hardcover)
The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent is one of the best novels I've read this year; certainly in the top five. The fact that Kent is a descendent of the Carriers adds an emotional connection to the story that makes the account even more personal.
Sarah Carrier, the ten year old narrator of the story, lives with her parents Thomas and Martha, along with three brothers and a younger sister Hannah. They live a bleak existence on a small farm near Salem. Kent's ability to bring the toughness of these people to the forefront is interesting, though I think letting Sarah be the narrator limits the impact of the story for the reader. Still, the novel moves quickly with crisp prose and a well rounded plot. There is an element of terror in the pages of The Heretic's Daughter. Knowing that others may be conspiring against you with rumors and innuendo, half truths, and out and out lies may be vaguely familiar to some of the readers. The insanity of it all is that those in charge, those who are relied upon for leadership and for guidance in living our lives, have given up reason and submitted blind fear and in doing so removes Sarah's ability to defend her self.
The Heretic's Daughter is also a story about love. One can't always judge by exterior signs the depth of love and devotion people have for each other. This is especially true in the love between a mother and daughter.
Most readers are familiar with the Salem witch trials of 1692, though having an intimate knowledge of the historical facts isn't required to enjoy The Heretic's Daughter. In fact, having only a sketchy understanding might be an asset.
I found The Heretic's Daughter to be an engaging and worthwhile read.
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Initial post: Feb 10, 2010 10:50:46 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 10, 2010 10:52:30 AM PST
Bathsheba Robie says:
I am a direct descendant of one woman who was hung (Rebecca Nurse), one who was sentenced to die but was given a reprieve due to her pregnancy (Abigail Dane Faulkner), one who died in jail and 12 others who were "just" jailed. The Proctors were my great times whatever aunt and uncle. The daughters of Abigail Dane Faulkner were also pressured to "testify" against their own mother, like the Carrier situation. I am also a direct descendant of Francis Dane who figures prominently in this book. The above review hits it on the mark completely.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2012 1:10:15 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 10, 2012 12:11:42 AM PST]
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