TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “HOUR OF THE WITCH”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a book I just finished reading and reviewing:  Hour of the Witch, by Chris Bohjalian.

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Intro: (The Book of the Wife)

There were two mistakes young men would make when they would first pick up a scythe:  they would try to do all the work with their arms, and they would make their swathes far too wide. They would attack the grass, as if they thought it would get up and run away if they didn’t kill it quickly.

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Teaser:

As Catherine stood, her eyes grew wide.  Mary could see that a revelation had come to her.  “Thou killed my brother.  Thou weren’t assisting the physician with thy simples; thou were killing him.”

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Synopsis: Boston, 1662. Mary Deerfield is twenty-four-years-old. Her skin is porcelain, her eyes delft blue, and in England she might have had many suitors. But here in the New World, amid this community of saints, Mary is the second wife of Thomas Deerfield, a man as cruel as he is powerful. When Thomas, prone to drunken rage, drives a three-tined fork into the back of Mary’s hand, she resolves that she must divorce him to save her life.

But in a world where every neighbor is watching for signs of the devil, a woman like Mary—a woman who harbors secret desires and finds it difficult to tolerate the brazen hypocrisy of so many men in the colony—soon becomes herself the object of suspicion and rumor. When tainted objects are discovered buried in Mary’s garden, when a boy she has treated with herbs and simples dies, and when their servant girl runs screaming in fright from her home, Mary must fight to not only escape her marriage, but also the gallows.

A twisting, tightly plotted novel of historical suspense from one of our greatest storytellers, Hour of the Witch is a timely and terrifying story of socially sanctioned brutality and the original American witch hunt.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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6 thoughts on “TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “HOUR OF THE WITCH”

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