The Manningtree Witches by A. K. Blakemore

The Manningtree Witches

A. K. Blakemore

A gripping account of a dark period in history. Yes, it's a tale of persecution, but one which side-steps the usual heroics and hysteria to focus on the women accused. Told (mostly) through the voice of one young woman, the narrative is laced with a pleasing tone of wry wit. This is a story that crackles and fizzes with richly observed detail: of people, time and place; an absolute belter of a book.


Tears of frustration suddenly burst up out of my eyes like the waters of a flood-swoll brook, and I lower my head to my apron so she cannot see, and say that I simply do not understand why it is that we must be the kind of people that folk rumour to be witches. Pressing my face down into my skirts, thick with darkness and damp smells from our labour through the snow, feels good and protective, like burrowing must to a beast.  The tears are hot on my cheeks. And then, I feel a hesitant hand on the small of my back. Mother pats me, haltingly. 'And you would rather we were what kind of people, hey?' she tuts, with gentle reproof. 'Rather I was the kind of mother that would marry you off to a yeoman Miller as soon as you had learned to wipe your own arse?'

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