I admit it. I often choose books based upon their covers. Cringe, judge, I don't care. Sometimes, I stumble upon great reads, as I did with Paula Brackston's "The Witch's Daughter."
Now, I also admit indulging in the occasional fantasy book--heaven knows I love me some Harry Potter and I already copped to reading the Twilight series more than once--so if magic isn't your thing, feel free to skip this one.
The Witch's Daughter chronicles the life of a woman we first meet as teenage "Bess" in 17th century England, and follows her through nearly four centuries of life. Without giving away the plot (you can read non-spoiler reviews here and here), the book shows us how Bess became a witch and why she leads a solitary life on the run, with interludes at key periods of history. As you might imagine, there's a "strong good versus evil" theme throughout the entire story, and it's easy to root for Bess as the heroine.
What I loved about the book: Bess is an intriguing female character and while there is some romance* here and there, it's not primarily a love story. The writing is detailed but fast moving and full of evocative scenes. I wish the ending had been less neatly tied up, but at least it wasn't completely predictable. And, while the story jogs back and forth in time, the transitions aren't jarring which I find irritating. Oh so cliche, but I could not put it down!
Bottom line: Entertaining, fast read. Suitable for airplane rides and Saturday afternoon escapes from reality.
* As a point of comparison, I also read Nora Roberts' Dark Witch last month. True to form, the unrealistic love story element proved annoying after about page seven. That one's also a fast read, but formulaic as Roberts does so well.
Other posts you might enjoy:
How not to go broke with an e-reader, aka why I heart the public library
Flying solo at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Conquering fears. Thank you sparkly vampires.
If I should die tomorrow
Applying "The Power of Habit"
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