How did I get it?:
I received it from the publisher for the blog tour! Thank you to Penguin Random House
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 didn’t know much about this book before I was asked to be a part of the blog tour. I really liked the sound of it though. I absolutely love historical fiction and this one looked like it was going to be great.
This book is set in 1645, it centres around Alice Hopkins who returns to Manningtree, Essex when her husband dies. Alice’s brother Matthew still lives there. It used to be a safe place for Alice and her family, but Matthew has changed. There’s rumours of witchcraft in the local area and Alice finds out that Matthew is collecting women’s names in a book. Names of women he believes are using witchcraft. Alice finds herself at the heart of Matthew’s obsession.
I really enjoyed the first part of the book which I found to be incredibly intriguing. I immediately wanted to know more about the characters and to find out what was going to happen next. I was turning the pages completely sucked in by the setting. I found it fascinating to think that Matthew actually existed. That’s what really added to the story, in my opinion. It equally creeped me out at the same time! I love when books are based around fact.
I liked the way that Beth Underdown approached this story. She particularly delved into the character of Alice, exploring Alice’s struggles in her life so far. It was interesting to read her interpretation of what Matthew’s sister may have been like (if he had a sister, I’m not sure!) I thought that The Witchfinder’s Sister was a good read which explores a well known part of history in an engaging way.
Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars
A fantastic debut novel with some great characters!