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Showing 1-10 of 31 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 57 reviews
on November 22, 2016
I fell in love with Heretic’s Daughter so much that I immediately started reading the prequel, even though the emotional heaviness of book one still weighed on my mind. The emotional tone of this second novel is lighter, even though the reader knows the ultimate tragic fate for Martha. The themes and storylines explored in this book are about building a relationship and new life, even if it's in a harsh world, rather than the sad end of a love and family.

Exploring Puritan life and how that society worked was the highlight of this book. Book one touched on it, of course, as it illustrated how that society’s make up contributed to the Salem witch trials and their aftermath. Yet, I felt this book got more in depth into the subject as we didn't have the accusations and court drama hanging over the proceedings.

The reader got to explore how Martha and Thomas could create a new life together, given the strictures of their positions in Puritan society and the narrow pathways for advancement provided. The intricacies of Puritan family life, the importance of the church in society, and the fear inspired by the harshness of the New World environment all contributed to create a lush background for Martha's and Thomas's relationship.

I really liked Martha and Thomas in this one. Of course, I loved Martha in Heretic’s Daughter, too. In fact, she was one of the highlights for me. Yet, in this book we get to explore her personality more in depth and see how her life circumstances and position shaped her. Her strong will and fiery tongue make her stand outside of regular society, making it necessary for her to make her own future herself.

I loved exploring Thomas more. He didn't get much characterization in book one, given that the story focused more on Sarah and Martha. The figure I got in my head from that book was of a silent, large, and strong figure who loved his family and supported them throughout the harsh circumstances they faced during the trial. All of this is evident in this prequel as well. However, we get to explore more of Thomas' past and see how those harsh events shaped his personality and outlook on life. His strength of will and ability to rebuild his life after it's torn down by outside circumstances creates a fantastic foil for Martha and a partner worthy of her.

If ever there was a relationship of equals, Thomas and Martha are it. They both respect each other not only for their outer attraction but also for each other's opinions, thoughts, and life goals. They are two individuals who life has dealt a crappy hand of cards to; yet, they both deal with life’s harshness and set out to build something for themselves anyway. To such strong personalities, I could see rubbing against each other and causing friction. Yet, Thomas and Martha respect each other enough that they support each other instead. I love them together and felt that they were a realistic couple, not something that you see all the time in historical fiction romances.

The one downside to this novel are the bits about the party from London. While they cast some light on Thomas’s past and his involvement with the English Civil War and King Charles’ execution, the way those chapters are told alternating with Martha’s and Thomas’ story make them seem like a completely separate narrative. Characters are introduced whom I forgot about immediately, not developing any connection nor caring for their fates. I felt like the author was jumping from story to story with no regard in developing the secondary set of characters from London. As a consequence, I didn't care about them one bit. To be honest, I skimmed most of those chapters rather than read every word.

Despite the secondary storyline and cast of characters that I couldn't connect with, I found this second book of Kathleen Kent’s duology an enjoyable read. To say I loved learning more about Thomas, Martha, and how they met is an understatement. Even knowing historically what will happen to them, I was held in suspense watching their relationship develop, based on mutual respect. The historical details on daily Puritan life and society was just cream on the top. This is a worthy follow up to Heretic’s Daughter, one of my favorite novels of the year 2016. If you enjoyed that book, look into this one; you won't regret it.
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on April 9, 2015
Martha Alan Carrier was my 10th great-grandmother. Thomas (Morgan) Carrier was my 10th great-grandfather. My grandmother, Frances Carrier Clark Hedrick her direct descendant. We lived in Connecticut not far from Colchester where Thomas moved after Martha's death by hanging as a witch. I grew up hearing all the stories just as told by Kathleen Kent in this and the following novel entitled The Heretic's Daughter. Is all this true? Well, I heard every detail in my home, long before these books were written. Are the books good reads? Yes, even if the characters are not your relatives! Fine historical detail. A lot to enjoy here.
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on January 6, 2011
This prequel to Kathleen Kent's previous book "The Heretic's Daughter", takes place in colonial Massachusetts in the mid to late 1600s. There are two main threads. Martha, unmarried and considered a spinster at age 19 is sent to her cousins house to help her through her pregnancy. Martha is strong willed. She bristles at intimacy but is acutely aware of the disadvantages of remaining single and equally adamant about marrying for love. Here she meets Thomas Carrier, a worker on her cousin's farm. This thread is the strongest. Kent provides rich detail of the harshness of daily life in 17th century Massachusetts as the inhabitants fight wolves, Indians, and small pox. The second thread deals with the back-story of Thomas. He's a former soldier rumored to have ties to the death of King Charles I and is being hunted by loyalists. Kathleen Kent gives readers some of the fascinating history surrounding the execution of King Charles I King Charles I and Oliver Cromwell. My only criticism is I felt the sections depicting the story of Thomas Carrier could have been better integrated. Although I enjoyed this book, I liked "The Heretics Daughter" better.

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on September 12, 2013
Loved this book. It put me right into the time frame. I felt the struggle of living in Tom's living in England and Martha's struggle as an unmarried woman living in colonial America. I loved their quaint love story along with the fears of Native American raids, sickness, and intrigue into Tom's background. This was even better than "Heretic's Daughter". I can't wait to read Kathleen Kent's next book. They just keep getting better and better.
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on February 2, 2014
This book is published under this title and under the title The Wolves of Andover. Both books are offered by amazon.com with different publication dates. Don't be misled into buying both books.
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on March 29, 2014
This is Kent`s 2nd novel and even though it is a prerequal to her first novel, you should read the two books in the order written. The two books fit together very well. It is very easy to feel like you are reading a family history rather than a historical fiction. And, read both of them you should.
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on November 16, 2016
no comment
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on June 17, 2015
Really enjoying, great part of history that is not well known. Well researched with an interesting character point of view.
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on October 26, 2011
This is the second book I've read of author Kathleen Kent's and I love the way she brings her characters and colonial Massachusetts to life. "The Traitor's Wife" hooked me from the start with it's fast moving tale of romance and intrigue. I particularly loved the character Thomas Carrier.
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on September 25, 2014
Beautiful language! The author brings back a time when common folks put effort into their composition. Martha's journaling was exquisite. Poetic.
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