Goodreads blurb: “The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six…
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?”
I loved this audiobook and couldn’t get enough of it. The narrator Lucy Brownhill was absolutely perfect for this book, her intimate reading truly bringing it to life for me.
There was tension right from the opening sentences, which kept up until the last page, filling me with a foreboding every time I listened.
I really liked Alice the main character and really felt for her as she struggled to know what to do about her brother and his witch-finding duties. She wanted to think the best of him and believed the women would be released and therefore didn’t want to make a fuss by telling him to stop. I kept feeling that she was headed in a really bad direction though as she seemed to focus on the wrong issues. I was expected the story to end differently, so was very happy with the ending, especially the last few words and I would love to know what happened next to Alice.
The story made me very grateful to be a woman in the 21st Century and not the 17th in which the book is set. Life was tough enough as it was then without the added fact that being a woman I would be likely to be suspected of witchcraft, just because of my gender.
I definitely recommend this if you enjoy historical fiction with seasonal feel to it.
I listened to this audiobook for the Reading Imbibing Peril reading challenge running from 1st September to 31st October.