Good afternoon my lovelies!
I hope you’ve had a great week and have lots of lovely things planned for the coming weekend. I had a full weekend of bookish things and I couldn’t be more excited! Talking of things to be excited about, if you follow me on any kind of social media you will know that I read and loved this book when the hardback was released and to celebrate the release of the paperback, today I am sharing my review for the dark and beautifully grim The Familiars by Stacey Halls.
* Thank you to Bonnier Zaffre for sending me a gifted copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Title: The Familiars
Author: Stacey Halls
Publication date: 7th February 2019 (harback)
My rating: ★★★★★
Goodreads rating: 3.98
Genre: Fiction, historical, fantasy
Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth, a noblewoman, is with child again. None of her previous pregnancies have borne fruit, and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir. Then Fleetwood discovers a hidden doctor’s letter that carries a dire prediction: she will not survive another birth. By chance she meets a midwife named Alice Grey, who promises to help her deliver a healthy baby. But Alice soon stands accused of witchcraft.
Is there more to Alice than meets the eye? Fleetwood must risk everything to prove her innocence. As the two women’s lives become intertwined, the Witch Trials of 1612 loom. Time is running out; both their lives are at stake. Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.
Rich and compelling, set against the frenzy of the real Pendle Hill Witch Trials, this novel explores the rights of 17th-century women and raises the question: Was witch-hunting really women-hunting? Fleetwood Shuttleworth, Alice Grey and the other characters are actual historical figures. King James I was obsessed with asserting power over the lawless countryside (even woodland creatures, or “familiars,” were suspected of dark magic) by capturing “witches”—in reality mostly poor and illiterate women.
“After seeing this gorgeous book several months ago, I knew I needed it. I was lucky to be sent an early finished copy of this book and ended up reading it right away. The Familiars tells the story of the Pendle Hill witch trials with a key emphasis on the rights of women in the 17th century, or, you could say, lack of rights. I loved the writing in this one and the story had me gripped from the very first page. We follow Fleetwood and her husband Richard who are desperate to have a family. Things do not go their way however and Fleetwood suffers several miscarriages. Fleetwood meets the mysterious Alice Gray, an unconventional midwife. Can she help? Is there more than meets the eye? A brilliant debut and an author that I will definitely be keeping an eye on for future releases. I gave this one 5/5 stars.”
Peace and pages