After a promising start, this book seemed to cruise along at a leisurely pace until the final three or four chapters. I didn’t find it scary at all, although the chilling shower scene made me a bit shivery.
As a believer in the interconnectedness of everything, through time as well as space, the concept of links between the main character, Sadie, and others in the present and those of the seventeenth century was easily consumed. However, the ending, which I shall not spoil for you, bordered on the ridiculous and unbelievable.
It was a captivating and interesting story in that I always wanted to read on to find out what happened next. I got a little bored with the railing against the Essex girl stereotype and Sadie’s attempts to prove that wrong. It was almost as if she was carrying a banner saying, “Essex gals ain’t fick!”
I enjoyed the true history of those witch hunt days and the suggestion, probably true, that there was a battle of the classes behind much of the horror. One thing is for sure, the witch, once accused, could not survive. Most of us know about the trial by ducking stool. If the accused drowned, it proved that she was not a witch, but she would be dead. If she survived, she was definitely a witch and would be hanged or burned at the stake. Heads you lose, tails you lose!
I felt that there was too much about the challenges that face almost every freelance journalist and novelist and the fact that it is very difficult to earn a living that way. This seemed like the every-day gripes of the author creeping into her story.
Having said all of this, I would still recommend the book to those who like a good historical yarn and are interested in those puritanical times and the local history of Essex.
I would probably read another book by this author, but I have many higher priorities on my TBR mountain.