- Paperback: 162 pages
- Publisher: Plum Press (February 1, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0615587240
- ISBN-13: 978-0615587240
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,835,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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When Two Women Die: An Historical Novella of Marblehead, Telling of Two Murders Which Happened There, 301 Years Apart Paperback – February 1, 2012
About the Author
Patricia Goodwin grew up in an Italian-American neighborhood outside of Boston. She was the first in her family to finish high school and go on to college. She graduated cum laude from Salem State University, Salem, MA where she earned a BA in English Literature. In the early days of the natural foods movement, she created and taught macrobiotic educational programs for the East West Foundation, Brookline, MA (now the Kushi Institute, Becket, MA). She has practiced the macrobiotic discipline since 1974. Patricia has written many articles of non-fiction, which have appeared in publications such as The Boston Herald, The Record American, American Express OnTime, AAA Horizons, The Marblehead Reporter and The North Shore Sunday. "A Child's Christmas in Revere", a chapter from her novel, Holy Days was published in the anthology, Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America (Seal Press, 2004). Her poetry has been published in Marblehead Magazine, IndeArts, Runes, nthposition.com, Pemmican Press, and Radius: Poetry from the Center to the Edge, among others. In 2012, her poem “the last day” will be published in The Potomac. She has three books of poetry: Marblehead Moon (Plum Press, 1993), Java Love (Plum Press, 1997), and Atlantis (Plum Press, 2006). Patricia lives with her husband and daughter in an historic seacoast town in Massachusetts. For more information about the author, including new work, events, and videos, please visit patriciagoodwin.com.
Top customer reviews
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Set in the seaside town of Marblehead, Massachusetts, Patricia Goodwin's When Two Women Die spans 300 years to focus on the fictional murder of two women at the hands of pirates - the 20th century "pirate" labeled as being the creepy next door neighbor. Both stories are weaved together from chapter to chapter and are drawn from local legend of the 1600's and actual events of the 1991 murder of Martha Brailsford of Salem, Massachusetts.
From the apotheosis of the local 17th Century shaman to his 20th Century counterpart's town-wide revulsion, the screaming woman on the beach at midnight, the actions of the boy Ned Low - in my opinion the most evil character in the book - to the frantic husband's search for his wife around Marblehead Harbour all add to a mash-up of 18th and 19th Century Gothic horror, the Chandleresque detective and the twists and turns of a Hitchcock film.
Although the dialogue in the 17th Century portions of the book can make the reader stumble at times, all in all, When Two Women Die is a terrific debut. One that I would highly recommend to any fan of the above writers and director. Living in the Boston area I sometimes wonder if tourists get the entire story because our history here is more than just the witch trials of Salem. That is only one speck of our existence compared to the larger history of commerce, trade, exploration and yes pirates and sadly human trafficking and murder. Best read under cover of a tented blanket and flashlight during a rainstorm at midnight.
The year is 1690 and Elizabeth Treadwell and her dear friend Rosie Low are supporting one another through child rearing, gardening and chores while their husbands and most of the other men in Marblehead are away at sea. Their lives have become fairly routine and they looked forward to the day the men returned. However, something unexpected and horrifying was about to happen, something that would change their lives forever.
Fastforward to Marblehead 1991 and Beth Treadwell and her closest friend Julie Low Peach are enjoying pizza while their 5 children are kept entertained by the pizza chefs. They talked about Beth's project on Marblehead's ancestry. They eventually parted ways so Beth could work on a video of the town's history. Both women's lives, similar to the first two, were filled with children and chores. Their lives too appeared typical to anyone who knew them. A fateful afternoon cruise around the bay would soon become anything, but typical.
Patricia Goodwin has a gift for captivating readers leaving them yearning for more. As the story transitions from 1690 to 1991 the similarities in events become pronounced and send chills down your spine.
I really enjoyed When Two Women Die and definitely recommend picking up a copy.