Narrator Performance: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Book Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Widdershins tells the story of the Newcastle witch trials in 1650, but we join the story when two of the characters whose fates will collide at this horrific event are children.
We see how John, the witchfinder, became so passionate about the work he does through the death of his mother, his wife and child as well as the influence of his abusive father and reverend uncle. We hear the stories of his progression into the career and the women accused along the way. Like with many other stories of this ilk, there is terrible aggression towards Eve’s cursed daughters where women who have any knowledge or influence or cross the wrong man are deleted from society in the most horrific way. John is probably the most unlikable character I’ve ever read. I know history is full of these men but oof I just wanted to punch him more and more with every word and action.
Jane is a midwife’s daughter whose life seems unfairly cursed from the start. Circumstance after circumstance leads her to her ultimate fate. It nearly seemed inescapable that she would end up where she did. As a woman with a brain and an opinion and a desire to make choices that followed her heart and not a sense of duty she set herself apart in a dangerous way. I was so empathetic towards her and found myself really wishing there was a way out for her. My favorite part of her story was the discussions of the herbs and treatments used at that time point. Oh and the END!
It’s definitely a slow moving story with the trials occurring quite near the end but the details of the time help build the tension to a crescendo. Lots of scenes are quite graphic and the description of the women’s “crimes” will make your blood boil but it is accurate to the trials of the times. Check this one out if you liked Phillippa Gregory’s Tideland.
Thanks to Love Book Tours for an audio copy. All opinions above are my own.
After finishing this, I went right out and purchased the sequel. What’s the last book you read as quickly as you finished the first?