The Heretic’s Daughter – Kathleen Kent

“A Mother condemned by the truth. A daughter saved by a lie.”

Omigosh, this book was so DARK! It made me kind of uncomfortable to read. The primitive way of life that the characters had was just so depressing! They were very poor, hungry, scared, and they really had no fun or enjoyment or happiness or anything to look forward to even BEFORE the witch trials started. And once the trials started, whoah. Oh, and most of the characters weren’t very likeable at all. I wanted to stop reading halfway through but the mysteries kept me going.

From what I can tell, Kent stuck pretty close to history for the most part, which is AWESOME. But that made it kind of confusing, also…names were thrown about (and they’re all named Martha, Mary, or Mercy!) all willy-nilly and I had a hard time keeping up with everyone. I kept having to stop and look stuff up, because the book doesn’t explain much, really. I’m good on Tudor history but anything after that I’m a little fuzzy on, so I had to stop and look up Charles I, Oliver Cromwell, Salem history, etc.

One thing that I didn’t understand was why so many people were condemned to death. Sarah said herself that her mother was the only woman to stand up to the witch hunters, so why all the other deaths? Because basically, if you “admitted” that you were a witch, you got to live. It was the ones who wouldn’t confess, like Sarah’s mother, who were hung…because they hadn’t repented and blah blah Puritan religion reasons. I’ll be looking for other books about this topic, I think.

So, in summary…I didn’t like it. It was very interesting hearing about the craziness of the Witch trials, because I like reading about history, but the general gloom of the book just depressed me.

Also, I’ve decided that I have to post about books immediately after I read them. Let even a day go by and I lose all interest in talking about it!

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3 Responses to The Heretic’s Daughter – Kathleen Kent

  1. shelleybean1 says:


    Also, I read a really fascinating Salem Witch Trials book a few years back by Robin Cook. It went kinda crazypants at the end, but I still really liked it. Acceptable Risk I think it was called. Also, I know it’s like required reading for schools and a play and all, but The Crucible is also fabulous.

    • kelley says:

      Robin Cook?? Is that like, the Salem Witch Trials are interrupted by plague-carrying monkeys?

      The Crucible is a good idea though, I’ll check that one out.

  2. shelleybean1 says:

    No plague-y monkeys! Um, if I remember right it is this lady who moves into an old house her family owned in Salem and her boyfriend is working on this experimental drug that can fix depression or something. While there, they discover that the witch trials might actually have had a REAL cause (as in the people were going nuts b/c of a poison or something). Apparently all the mass hysteria was explainable and not so terrible. All that seems reasonable, but then it gets WEIRD. Anyway, I liked it, I think, until the weird.

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