Penguin presents the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown, read by Lucy Brownhill and Roy McMillan.
It's 1645. When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives. But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women's names. To what lengths will Matthew's obsession drive him? And what choice will Alice make when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?
©2017 Beth Underdown (P)2107 Penguin Audio Books
"Vivid and terrifying." (Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train)
"A richly told and utterly compelling tale, with shades of Hilary Mantel." (Kate Hamer)
"Anyone who liked Cecilia Ekback's Wolf Winter is going to love this.... [It's] about tiny braveries and small courage...a real David and Goliath story, but far less straightforward." (Natasha Pulley, author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street)
"A tense, surprising and elegantly-crafted novel. The Witchfinder's Sister is a gripping exploration of the dark and twisted roots of seventeenth-century paranoia." (Ian McGuire, author of The North Water)
"Beth Underdown grips us from the outset and won't let go...at once a feminist parable and an old-fashioned, check-twice-under-the-bed thriller." (Patrick Gale, author of Notes from an Exhibition)
"Beth Underdown cleverly creates a compelling atmosphere of dread and claustrophobia.... Even from the distance of nearly four hundred years, her Matthew Hopkins is a genuinely frightening monster." (Kate Riordan, author of The Girl in the Photograph)
"Superb: dark, terrifying and utterly compelling." (Tracy Borman)
This book was an absolutely fantastic read/listen, but I only read a book once. Period.
I would not want to differentiate between the characters, they were all excellently written and portrayed with an obvious depth of historical research and resultant understanding of the social mores of mid-seventeenth century England.
Not aware of listening to these readers before but both were excellent.
Much of the book was very moving. The powerlessness and victimisation of women due to the bigotry and ignorance current at the time upset me. Nothing has changed in some parts of the world - that thought made me sad too.
A compelling read, the reader is carried along on a whirlwind journey deep into one of the least pleasant chapters of British history. I liked the subtle reference to how all this was about to be repeated in the New World!!
Whilst I didn't find this as fabulously evocative as I'd hoped, I'm very clear the author has grafted hard to provide a well-contextualised novel.
Stand-alone, it felt to me like a three-star listen but given the depth and breadth of context I wanted to give a big fat four stars :)
If you're interested at all in the social & cultural origins of those 17thC 'witchcraft' trials, this is worth a read/listen.
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