1648, England. The country is in the middle of the civil war between the King and the rebelling Parliament. The people are constantly tested for their loyalties. It’s a very dangerous time for everybody especially women. Every small mistake or little whisper can lead a woman to be accused of witchcraft.
Alinor is a wise woman. she was abandoned by her husband, who left to serve in the navy a year ago and never returned. Alone with her two children and has to provide for them all by her self. Without a man to support her she soon raises suspicion among the citizens; how can a woman support herself and her children? She can’t actually earn money. She’s just a woman! There’s definitely something suspicious going on. And besides, she’s just too pretty. How dare she! A pretty woman is a sinner. Her neighbors are constantly watching her, waiting to find any evidence for her adultery. Alinor’s life complicates even more when she meets James, a charming foreigner who has a lot of secrets.
These were simple people: when someone told them that they had nothing to fear they knew that they were in trouble.
I like Philippa Gregory’s books and this one is no exception. Although it was a bit slow passing, in the beginning, it soon picked up and towards the end, I was holding my breath. The time period described in this novel is very captivating and horrifying. It took nothing back then to accuse any woman, who stood out from the crowd, of witchcraft and adultery. I liked Alinor and her personality. She was smart and a hard worker, strongminded and passionate. She was a woman who stood alone against the rest of the word. Struggling to survive, to stay true to her beliefs, her opinions and her feelings. She was an amazing mother who protected her children at all costs. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book worrying for her faith. The last few chapters tore my heart in pieces. It was so terrible but so epic at the same time. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series and see what happens next.