Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Heretic's Daughter

I'm on a little bit of a non-fiction streak (as you'll see when I post my next review) and honestly, I didn't even realize it!  The majority of the time, I do my research when reading a book...I, unfortunately, did not do that in this case. 

I own The Heretic's Daughter in audio version because I picked it up at Half Price Books after noticing a paperback copy circulate through our book club.  At the time, nothing more was said within the club other than the reader enjoying it.  It wasn't until after I finished it, passed it along to my mother and she researched it, that I learned this is a true story!

Frankly, I thought this was a historical fiction novel that was reasonably accurate with what actually occurred back during the Salem witch trials.  There are so very many books about these trials, that I didn't think much of it.  Kathleen Kent, the author of The Heretic's Daughter, is a 10th generation descendant of Martha Carrier, the true heroine in this story.  Kent retells this story that has been passed down to her through the generations...

Martha was one of the first women accused, tried and hanged for witchcraft.  Her story is told through her daughter, Sarah, (hence the title) and what is truly amazing about this story is the bond the mother and daughter form.  In the beginning of the story, the two do not have the best of relationships...but, as the story progresses, Sarah learns how strong her mother is and how admirable.  In the end, Martha has Sarah perform the unthinkable to save herself and little brother...and, the bond between mother and daughter couldn't have been stronger despite appearances to the public.

This story is hard to listen to at times.  Conditions in general and treatment of the accused is rather disgusting.  However, I do think this story is very enlightening though sad.  It's truly tragic the horrible events that have occurred in the past simply because someone didn't like someone else.  Very good read and I would definitely recommend.

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