Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
It does as good a job as any book I can think of ...
on August 22, 2015
"Daughters of Witching Hill" follows several generations of "Cunning Women" in Lancashire, England. The story combine strong female figures with a well developed sense of place and time. Character development is solid, but not overly sentimental. I cared for the lead figures in the story, but was never overwhelmed by the emotional component of the story.
The real strength of the story lies in the details of historical setting that the story illuminates. It does as good a job as any book I can think of portraying the precarious economic conditions of commoners of the time. And those conditions were precarious indeed. The domination of the common folk by clergy and nobility is also well illustrated, as well as the rigidity of social structures of the time.
For me, however, the crowning jewel was the detailed depiction of witchcraft scares in the context of King James England. As a resident of New England, I've been immersed in the story of the Salem witch trials (1692) all my life and it strongly colors my perception of the phenomena. The perspective of the earlier time (1612) and the pre-colonial setting, as well as its embedding within the Catholic-Protestant struggles of 15th century England was eye-opening for me, and well crafted.