Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Heretic's Daughter - Kathleen Kent

Firstly we have to thank Sarah Rees for bringing in her Peanut Butter Blondies and Lemon & Almond Cake.

The strongest reaction we all had to this book was one of shock that this could happen in a civilised society. The people in this small community were turning on each other in a way we hoped should not be possible. We discussed the fact that this hysterical reaction could happen again today under a slightly different fear.

We all enjoyed the snippets of historical detail that the author put into the book, this helped us to ground ourselves in the period. Some people felt that the first part of the book took too long to get to the actual trials while others really enjoyed this part. The book was written not as an historical "misery memoir" but as actual facts laid out for the reader to make a judgement on, this was appreciated by the group.

The whole group felt a strong sense of injustice throughout the novel, we were unsure how civilised people managed to do this to members of their own community. We thought maybe they had to fear something they could control, rather than the sickness and the natives overwhom they had no control. It was also agreed that those people who were accusing the witches did so to be in a position of power over people they were jealous of.

Some parts of the book we felt were a little far-fetched for example, the young people were very grown-up for their age. Also, the age the father lived to seemed to be extraordinary even in todays society. There were also a few medical aspects such as checking for virginity, and the infections while in prison which did not ring-true to us.

In terms of recomending this book we would do so, but possibly not to a young adult because some scenes are a little graphic. Overall we would give this book 7 out of 10