Daughters of the Witching Hill

Daughters of the Witching Hill Cover

Daughters of the Witching Hill

By Mary Sharratt

Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780547422299, 333pp.

Publication Date: January 5, 2011


"Daughters of theWitching Hill" brings history to life in a vivid and wrenching account of a family sustained by love as they try to survive the hysteria of a witch-hunt.

Bess Southerns, an impoverished widow living in Pendle Forest, is haunted by visions and gains a reputation as a cunning woman. Drawing on the Catholic folk magic of her youth, Bess heals the sick and foretells the future. As she ages, she instructs her granddaughter, Alizon, in her craft, as well as her best friend, who ultimately turns to dark magic.

When a peddler suffers a stroke after exchanging harsh words with Alizon, a local magistrate, eager to make his name as a witch finder, plays neighbors and family members against one another until suspicion and paranoia reach frenzied heights.

Sharratt interweaves well-researched historical details of the 1612 Pendle witch-hunt with a beautifully imagined story of strong women, family, and betrayal. "Daughters of the Witching Hill" is a powerful novel of intrigue and revelation.