2021 Book #96 – The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

Title: The Witchfinder’s Sister
Author: Beth Underdown
Date finished: 10/23/21
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Pages in book: 316
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Essex, England, 1645. With a heavy heart, Alice Hopkins returns to the small town she grew up in. Widowed, with child, and without prospects, she is forced to find refuge at the house of her younger brother, Matthew. In the five years she has been gone, the boy she knew has become a man of influence and wealth—but more has changed than merely his fortunes. Alice fears that even as the cruel burns of a childhood accident still mark his face, something terrible has scarred Matthew’s soul.

There is a new darkness in the town, too—frightened whispers are stirring in the streets, and Alice’s blood runs cold with dread when she discovers that Matthew is a ruthless hunter of suspected witches. Torn between devotion to her brother and horror at what he’s become, Alice is desperate to intervene—and deathly afraid of the consequences. But as Matthew’s reign of terror spreads, Alice must choose between her safety and her soul.

Alone and surrounded by suspicious eyes, Alice seeks out the fuel firing her brother’s brutal mission—and is drawn into the Hopkins family’s past. There she finds secrets nested within secrets: and at their heart, the poisonous truth. Only by putting her own life and liberty in peril can she defeat this darkest of evils—before more innocent women are forced to the gallows.

Inspired by the real-life story of notorious “Witchfinder General” Matthew Hopkins, Beth Underdown’s thrilling debut novel blends spellbinding history with echoes of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale for a truly haunting reading experience.

My rating:  2.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I’ve had this one on my list for awhile and since it is Spooky October I am trying to read some witchy books this month and this one was a great fit. Even though I did not end up loving this one – it was pretty slow for me. It was a well written book but wow was it sad. It was honestly hard for me to get through it because it was just so heavy. Not just because of these poor women that this actually happened to (being accused of being a witch) but also because of everything that Alice had to go through. Losing her husband, all the miscarriages, all the shit she went through with her brother – all of it was just so terrible. This book felt really relevant though with all the people touring Salem this month and the travesties that occurred to women there. I thought this book had a really adept presentation of how fear can develop and grow over time and that development of the “mob mentality” that takes over. There were some good plot twists too that I didn’t see coming. Overall it was a good book, it was just not a book for me right now!

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2021 Monthly Status Update: September

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My favorite time of the year is here. Fall is the best – between the cooler weather and my birthday and all the Halloween decorations, I just love this time of year. This past month was my last month of maternity leave and I read A LOT! I won’t be able to continue at this pace going forward as I’m starting back at work but I am hoping to still read some great books next month too. So! Here is my reading progress for September:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 15
# pages read this month: 4,808
# books read year-to-date: 90
# pages read year-to-date: 30,949

Other Posts this month:

Nothing to report from this past month!

Favorite books from this month:

Beach Read by Emily Henry – 4.75 stars
It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey – 4.5 stars

Next Month TBR List:

For October, I don’t have any scheduled reads but I wanted to do some spooky/witchy reads! So I’m going to be reading a mix of things from my backlog and my library that fit into my “theme” for this month:

  • The Ex Hex
  • Witches of East End
  • Witches of Eastwick
  • Sorrow
  • Look for Me
  • The Witchfinder’s Sister
  • The Vanishing Season
  • A Heart of Blood and Ashes

I’m back to work this month but hoping to ease in slowly so I just need to find a balance between work and family first and then I’ll be able to figure out where I can fit in more reading!

Happy reading everyone and hope you all have a spooky October!