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With Forked Tongue: A Legend of Lake Murray

3.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0595171453
ISBN-10: 0595171451
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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

With Forked Tongue is the story of a modern day woman struggling with a crisis of faith, who becomes deeply involved with an old, local legend of heresy and murder. The legend was very loosely based on the Weberite Heresy. In 1761, a fanatic group of Dutch Fork residents seemed to go berserk and put to death a few of their neighbors in what has been called South Carolina's only execution of accused witches. I wanted to set out my own theories about how such a thing could happen, but I also wanted to write about faith in general and how we can learn from history without hanging onto old injustices forever. I wanted to make the lake more than just the setting for the book; I wanted to make it one of the characters. There's a beauty here that rivals the Lowcountry and a serenity like no where else.

Since Lake Murray is my home, I have truly enjoyed researching and writing this work. I used the anecdotal histories of 19th century Newberry county journalists O.B. Mayer and John Chapman and many Lexington family histories for local color and character while trying to avoid depicting actual people or places. The observations on religion came from Woodmason and the Lutheran church historians. I turned to more modern historians like Pope, Moore, and Edgar for facts related to the period in general. It was great fun weaving it all together into what, I hope, is an entertaining and believable read.

About the Author

Susannah Wilds is a long-time resident of the Lake Murray area of South Carolina. This is her second novel.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (February 19, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595171451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595171453
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,486,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

What a wonderful blend of poetry, philosophy, and folklore! The descriptions of Lake Murray are so true you can almost see the purple martins and the fog lifting off the lake. The folklore of the Dutch Fork is enchanting: the tales of 'using' and white magic, herbal remedies, taufschein, and taking the dogs to church. Kate's conversations with Sam are funny and touching. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves the lake and the Dutch Fork.
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I am resubmitting my review, as it seems to have been lost [probably do to a DUE (dumb user error) on my part}. I have reread this since my first reading was when it first came out, and I am thrilled to have autographed copies of both books. This is a hard book to put down - it grips you and even with my second reading, it still kept me going to late in the night, but well worth it to get it finished. Even though this is a different setting from her first, semi-autobigraphical, the reader will be kept interested and tantilized from beginning to end. Hopefully there will be another soon!!!!!
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By A Customer on May 3, 2001
This should not be cateogorized as horror... unless you consider John Milton's Paradise Lost a horror story or The Crucible a horror movie. This is a story about gaining the faith that evil can be turned to good. As the characters begin to understand the legend, they begin to believe in themselves and to understand how they can only recognize their greatest strenghtens by surviving events that test their faith.
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This is a spiritual story about a woman who is losing faith in herself, her husband and her friends. She finds hope by struggling to understand a legend of faith gone wrong. It is a powerful story as old as mankind, beautifully told, and skillfully woven. I would definitely not categorize it as horror.
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In the late 1760s in Saxe Gotha (the Dutch Fork) of South Carolina a religious sect of the Brethren known as the Gifted Brethren developed under the auspices of Jacob Weber, a Switzer. The people in his community were not witches nor were they all mad. However, it is likely that Jacob Weber, leader of the Weberites, was mentally impaired. At his behest two good men in the community, Michael Hentz, & John George Schmidtpeter were murdered. Seven were tried. Four convicted. Weber was hanged. No historical records support that the Weberites practiced witchcraft or other serious acts of depravity. This story has been grossly exaggerated by folklorists and others through time -- much to the dismay of the descendants of the two good men who were brutally murdered. This new book continues in that same line of gross exaggeration and misrepresenting the historical record, through the use of horror fiction.
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