The Manningtree witches.
Publication year: 2021
Media class: Paperback
Publisher: London : Granta, 2021.
ISBN: 9781783786442 (pbk.) : 8.99
Fear and suspicion take root among the women of Manningtree, when the Witchfinder General comes to town. England, 1643. Puritanical fervour has gripped the nation. In Manningtree, depleted of men since the Civil War began, the women are left to their own devices and Rebecca West chafes against the drudgery of her days. But when Matthew Hopkins arrives, asking bladed questions and casting damning accusations, mistrust and unease seep into the lives of the women. Caught between betrayal and persecution, what must Rebecca West do to survive?
No. of reservations: 0
Based on true events in mid seventeenth century England during the period of the Civil War and Puritanical witch hunts led by the self titled Witchfinder General, this is a staggeringly good read. Blakemore doesn't know how to write a bad sentence. The prose is sumptuous - crystal clear and poetic. It's a fascinating story from an historical perspective, but many of its themes resonate today - misogyny, class division, corruption of power, superstition and prejudice. The characters are strongly drawn and there is plenty of humour mixed in with all the darkness. Highly recommended.
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