Author: Elizabeth Laird
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Published: March 18, 2011
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I received an advanced digital copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher to review. This is my honest opinion.
Description (from me):
The story begins with Maggie living in Scotland with her grandmother. Because of her grandmother's harsh nature and weird customs, the people in the town begin to believe she is a witch. Maggie becomes unfairly guilty of witchcraft by association. Soon the town works itself into a unstoppable frenzy and both of them are sentenced to be hanged. All of that happens in only the first third of the book or so! There is so much more to this story...I wrote my own, because I think the real one is a bit spoiler-y. You can read the full description on Goodreads if you want to know more.
Historical fiction fans will love this book!
What I really loved about the book is that the author, Elizabeth Laird, does a fantastic job of immersing the reader into the turmoil of the seventeenth century Scotland. It's one thing to read a bunch of facts, but another to live it through Maggie Blair. I felt like I was going through all of the struggles right along with her! I enjoyed reading about the people, the clothing, the food, and just the day to day life during that time.
Maggie is surrounded by both sides of the spectrum: those who would give their lives to show their devotion to God, and those who do not hold any religious beliefs. What does Maggie believe? Where does she fit? On her way towards understanding her answers to these questions she goes though so much, and matures immensely.
Want to know what is really awesome? The author based some of the characters and events around her own family history! She tells all about it at the end of the book, in the foreword. Maggie's story is fiction, but I love that the struggles that she went through were very much real.
I'm having a hard time discussing this book without spoilers, so I'm just going to say that I liked it and if you like historical fiction, I really think you will too. :)