The Witchfinder’s Sister Book Review (Blog Tour)

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I am so happy to be today’s host in The Witchfinder’s Sister Blog Tour.
I liked this book and I am excited to share my review.
I’d like to thank Josie Murdoch from Penguin Random House UK, for giving me this opportunity.

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About the book:

The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six…

1645. When Alice Hopkins’ husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.

But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women’s names.

To what lengths will Matthew’s obsession drive him?
And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

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My Review:

It has been 15 days since I read The Witchfinder’s Sister, and I still don’t know what to think about it.
That happens rarely to me, almost never.
I have to warn you that my review will probably be all over the place because I am still finding the words to express my thoughts, but there is one thing I can say for sure: The Witchfinder’s Sister left me confused.

The story follows Alice Hopkins who returns to her childhood town to live with her brother Matthew, after a tragic death of her husband.
Since she saw him last time, Matthew changed.
He gained a lot of respect and hangs out with powerful men.
His job is to “expose” witches, put them on trial and punish them if they’re found guilty.

First thing that has to be stress out is that Matthew’s character is based on real person who lived in 17th century in England, and who is responsible for many of  lives lost because women were accused of practicing  witchcraft.
Despite that, this novel is piece of fiction.

It is told in first person, from Alice’s point of view.
I can’t say if the language in this book is authentic to the one that was in use in 1645, but it sounds a bit different from today’s modern English, but at the same time it reads pretty quickly.

The first third of the book was excellent.
The author really managed to describe the cold atmosphere that I imagine was present in that time.
I also liked how it wasn’t clear if the paranormal aspect was really present in the plot, or was it just in the minds of people that live in this book.
There was a point where I had to stop reading because I was too scared (and it was bedtime, so I didn’t want to have a sleepless night(I feel obligated to also tell you that the “problem” was in my head and the book isn’t as scarry as I was afraid it would be)).

The second half of the book was boring, which is a shame.
There were so many descriptions and so little conversations.
I wish we got to see more scenes from trials, but instead we got scenes with Alice hanging out with accused woman.
However, parts where she’s discovering mysery around her brother were really interesting.

I still don’t know what to think about the ending part related to Matthew.
It was somewhat unusual, that is for sure!

The end was good. I really, really liked the last sentence.

Overall, I liked the story in general, but I think it could have been told in more interesting way then it was.
It had potential to be even better.

Still, I think fans of historical fiction would appreciate this story so I recommend it to them, as well as to everyone else who’d like to read more about real witch hunt that happened in England during 17th century.

3,5

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About Beth Underdown:

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Beth Underdown was born in Rochdale in 1987. She studied at the University of York and then the University of Manchester, where she is now a Lecturer in Creative Writing.

The Witchfinder’s Sister is her debut novel, and is based on the life of the 1640s witch finder Matthew Hopkins.

 

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Follow the tour:

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5 thoughts on “The Witchfinder’s Sister Book Review (Blog Tour)

  1. It sounds interesting, but I can see what you mean about not really knowing what to think about it — I sometimes have that problem with books too — especially ones that aren’t balanced in terms of action, plot, and description. Still sounds like it might be worth checking out though. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. This is not the kind of books I would read but I really enjoyed your review! I don’t want to imagine 17th century English, haha! I’m fighting with 21st century languages enough as it is!

    Like

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